From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2011-09-18 20:04:40 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Re: Itchy ferret!
Digestible fats do NOT help reduce the risk of furballs. In fact, fats slow digestion so there is the chance they could increase the risk.
What works are things that can't digest, so white petrolatum is the base of most furball preparations. It snags the fur and pulls it through. If you want data on that these list both pros and cons specific to white petrolatum (which is very different from yellow petrolatum or brown petrolatum for amounts of volatile hydrocarbons):
Hypothetically, foods with a large amount of fiber might be able to help by carrying through the fur pieces. Pumpkin, which is in the same group as squashes, gourds, cucumbers, and melons is already used by some people when intestinal woes are present, yams are used by others and if I recall right some use some alternatives for that sort of approach. Anyway, those MIGHT work.
A flea comb or a shedding comb, or brush can be very useful for removing loose fur. Doing that once every day or two, depending on the rate of shed, in the Spring and the Fall can greatly help a ferret.
There were OLD -- and MISplaced -- extreme cautions about Vitamin A in Ferretone. You will find links to more recent work which backs that ferrets, with their ancestry of liver eating, need more Vitamin A than people do. On the other hand, we need more Vitamin D, since enough of our ancestors were diurnal as opposed to ferret ancestors which were crepuscular (dawn and dusk peak activity) burrow dwellers. When ferrets or dogs get too much D they develop calcium deposits in organs like the kidneys and heart. So, yes, there is such as thing as too much of anything, but overdoing the D is more likely with ferrets than overdoing the A. The second address in my sig lines is the FHL Archives and you will find a lot there on this.
See, too, things like:
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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