Message Number: FHL8134 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2009-02-24 21:59:28 UTC
Subject: RE: [ferrethealth] Re: (unknown)

Hi, Sukie, and everyone else,

> That's a lot of ferret with adrenal disease. Do you
> provide a number of places where they can get into
> complete or nearly complete darkness whenever they
> want?

Yes, of course, everything from nesting boxes to a heavy blanket which
Ella loves to completey enclosed sleep things. They have a room where
they can go at night where the light is often off and when we turn in
all lights go out.

> We've had ferrets for something like 27 or 28 years
> and tend to run into about 30% of the ferrets getting
> adrenal disease, and less than 20% getting any of the
> forms of pancreatic disease (including insulinoma but
> not limited to that).

That insulinoma rate or pancreatic disease rate is also a little lower
what we've seen. We're around 46% if you include Pertwee's chronic
pancreatitis the last year and a half of his life. He never had
insulinoma, thankfully. I've had two ferrets (Lady Ayeka and Ker Avon)
who had insulinoma before age five. Chin Soon is the third to be
diagnosed before age six. The other two were nearly eight years old.
For us insulinoma has mainly been a disease of old age.

We do mix foods (a mix of 2-4 better kibbles) and Bob Church's Chicken
Gravy at the start of evening playtime. (Chin Soon also gets gravy in
the morning right now.) We try to insure a minimum of three hours of
out of cage time but five to six hours is really the norm around here.
We encourage play and exercise all we can.

The interesting thing is that despite the relatively high adrenal rate
we've had really good luck with longevity. We have a bouncy seven year
old and an Energizer Bunny type almost six year old (Zephyr) who keeps
going and going and going.

Our last five ferrets have been rescues and five more came from
abusive/neglectful backgrounds as kits. Three came from the only pet
store I know of in this state that was actually shut down for the
abysmal conditions there. Unfortunately when adopting older ferrets you
have to live with whatever the previous owners did for better or for

All the best,
Caity and the terrific trio
(Ella, Zephyr, and Chin Soon)


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