Date: 2004-04-01 04:26:29 UTC
Subject: Re: blood glucose without carbs
Hi Sukie and all,
Hope you are feeling better Sukie.
Yes, ferrets can live without carbohydrates in the diet!
Yes, ferrets can use amino acids (from protein) to make
glucose in the liver. This is call gluconeogenesis, and most
carnivores can do this. Yes, ferrets can use fat to make glycerol
which can be used as an energy source. No, they do not have a
problem from the ketones that are produced. Remember a rat
carcass only has 1.2% carbohydrates, and a mouse carcass
only has 4-5% carbohydrates (incluced the GI tract). Thus a
"natural diet" for ferrets (small rodents) would only have 5%
or less carbohydrates.
Another reference that is ferret specific.
>From Dr Fox's Biology and Diseases of the Ferret 2nd edition
page 155, " ....it is probable that they can be maintained without
carbohydrates as long as the diet furnishes adequate fat (and thus
glycerol) or protein (containing glucogenic amino acids)."
Hope that clears things up,
Jerry Murray, DVM