From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2011-05-09 17:38:21 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: The Vitamin A question answered
To: fhl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's just lucky that it was just something I already
had heard from two people with doctorates in
veterinary nutrition. Right now I am not breathing
very well and Steve and I are very badly shaken
by losing Telemna so I could easily have missed
the possibility otherwise.
As it was, it provided a distraction exactly when I
needed one and it was the kind of distraction that
works best for me, an interesting biological puzzle
which could help many once the reason the "why"
could be understood.
Many, many thanks for finding the answer, Tressie,
and even more thanks for introducing the topic
You found info that can help many and
also provided a way to remind people that while
the A in that product is not likely to be a concern
for ferrets they do have to be aware that for ferrets
just like for dogs too much Vitamin D CAN be a danger.
I would suspect that even though they tolerate A
much better than humans -- and this difference is easily
explained by a long ancestry with organ meats like
liver in the diet very often -- that giving manufactured
retinol itself rather than precursors could pose a risk so
people need to remember to keep their own vitamins
away from pets.
Certainly Vitamin D poses much more of a risk to species
withOUT long diurnal ancestry, and both dogs and ferrets
have had problems from too much Vitamin D causing deposits
in organs like kidneys and heart. I've read studies on that
and refs can be found in the FHL archives.
There are other vitamins that also have risks at high levels.
Vitamin toxicity is a good topic for people to better
understand. While some are eliminated easily (for humans
this includes Folic Acid and B-12 but I don't know about ferrets)
even other water soluble vitamins have had risks in some
species, for example, way too much B6 (again in humans and I
don't know about ferrets) causes as much peripheral neurological
damage as way too little, and too much C (again humans but i don't
know about ferrets) interferes with copper utilization which in turn
affects how the body tackles iron, and in multiple species too much
vitamin C in the diet can make radiation therapy for a malignancy
either less effective or pretty much useless because some hormonal
malignancies pull that nutrient up very well and it turns out to
shield them against the radiation. There is also rebound scurvy in
humans; that happens when someone has been megadosing C
long term and suddenly stops it; then the body can not utilize
normal levels well. Except when C has to be stopped for things
like radiation therapy or extreme anemia it needs to decreased
gradually by people who had been megadosing long term, and thank
goodness I have never heard of anyone imposing that on a ferret.
Just like people take poisoning prevention care with medications,
plants, cleaning products, automotive products, cosmetics, sugarless
products which might contain xylitol, salted meats, estrogen creams
and patches for HRT (cover very, very well to protect children and pets)
and lots more, so too do they need to be careful that ferrets can not
get their vitamins. Always keep info handy on how to learn more on
the topic of poisoning. In the separate FHL Archives people can find
more info and more resources.
So, people should see Tressie's post just recently approved for
why Ferretone does NOT pose a Vitamin A toxicity problem and
see other recent posts including mine for why to not overdo it
because of the D in it, while also not panicking about the product.
AND do NOT megadose a ferret with ANY vitamins, anyone. Use your
treating vets for guidance and just as you do with other things
clear supplements with your vets beforehand (remembering that
this habit has saved so many ferrets from poisonings).
Sukie (not a vet)
Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:
"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)
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