From: Troy Lynn Eckart
Date: 2009-12-11 15:38:25 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] re: will a ferret starve to death
The simple answer is yes it can happen, but nothing in life is simple. There are several factors included in whether it will kill the ferret or not.
If a ferret is use to one type of food and switched quickly it is possible the ferret will starve to death but even if they don't starve to death they can get weak, malnourished, sick with an ulcer, and very confused and hurt as to why they are being treated badly. Ferrets are sensory animals and when they imprint on certain foods, they will not easily accept others and some will not accept at all. A case in point - a 10 month old ferret was placed into a new home as the original owner was going away to college. This healthy beautiful silvermitt had been fed SD kitten all her life. When she moved to her new home a bag of food went with her. The home had one other ferret that was fed a different cat food. When the bag of SD ran out the new home didn't bother buying another, thinking she would eat the other food. She ate very little, a piece now and again which the new owners thought she was eating. This beautiful girl became lethargic, grinding her teeth, and tarry sto
ols. Six weeks after she was placed in her new home she died a very painful death. The only contributing factor that could be determined was the food.
If a ferret is use to an array of different foods, they might switch a little easier but I wouldn't take it for granted. Regardless of whether one is trying to improve their diet or switch to a different style, it should be done slowly and carefully with close monitoring.
Trying to improve health should not include suffering for the ferret no matter what the humans think.
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