Message Number: FHL1630 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Kim"
Date: 2007-06-22 03:04:21 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Periodontal Disease and other food comments

Yes, it is true that I have only had my ferret for a short time (only
a little over a year) as compared to other's many years, but this
should in no way mean that I am uninformed.

Sometimes newcomers see things with fresh eyes and unclouded by "the
way things have always been done".

Otaining a new companion,for me,causes an immersion in researching
their care, their history with humans, their ancestral ties and
current thinking regarding their care.To me it is only fair to the
animal to be informed about what I am endeavoring.

Most likely my bent towards the all natural RMB/whole prey diet stems
in part from what I've seen happen to dogs and horses fed a processed
diet for years and years. Returning a horse to a diet closer to what
its ancestors ate, as well as housing them closer to "natural" always
improves their health. Horse feed companies are revising their
recipes to reflect these findings too.

The RMB/prey diet for a carnivorous ferret just plainly makes sense.

when you said:
Well, is it really, really, really, really, really , really (Did I
remember to emphasize "really" important to separate hypotheses from
well documented things.

I think you meant "it is" REALLY important to separate hypotheses
from documented studies, right?

But any "documented study" always starts with a hypothesis. this link
shows some info obtained apparently from some studies of Periodontal

and this one mentions a provable link to kidney problems, as well as
periodontal disease being able to establish itself when immune
systems are compromised:

Part of the problem with ferrets is that precious few studies have
been done of them. Plenty of studies have been done WITH ferrets -
using them as the carrier or study model for human studies. But the
ferret themselves as a breed are still basically a "mystery" if you
are looking for specific studies.

The ferret studies that are available are done on the diseases and
health issues that some are now beginning to show links to their
kibble diets.

The other apparently difficult part of obtaining documented
scientific studies of feeding raw is the costs aren't subsidized
like "scientific" studies done for kibbles are subsidized by the PFI,
or done within their own laboratories.

Would it be possible to reproduce the very same guidelines outlined
by the AAFCO to verify the benefits of feeding an RMB/whole prey
diet? Certainly for dogs, there may not be any guidelines for ferret
foods. But nothing in those guidelines says anything about teeth

Detractors of feeding raw/whole prey diets keep bringing up bacterial
issues and bowel perforation issues, yet I cannot locate any of these
problems being reported on the internet.

I have found all sorts of references to ferrets ingesting foreign
objects like erasers, pieces of sneakers, electric cords, paper clips
and pieces of chew toys which have then obstructed the bowels.

There are tons of references to pancreatitis, insulinoma, IBD,
prolapsed rectum which show links to, or have been fairly well proved
to be caused by ingesting kibble diets.

While there may not be any particular exact studies done regarding
ferret periodontal disease and the exact bacterium present as well as
their side effects and systemic influence - it can't be THAT much of
a leap to see that unhealthy teeth will promote stressed and possibly
compromised systems elsewhere.

At this point in time there are more studies done indicating major
health issues associated with feeding kibble diets ( and manufactured
ferret treats) as opposed to anything provable against feeding
ferrets RMB/whole prey.

Regards, Kim

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