Message Number: FHL14086 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Carol Rubin
Date: 2011-09-28 07:48:52 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] calcification of the vertebral column

Below, I've listed some suggestions.
BEFORE  doing  ANYthing,ALWAYS ask your vet!!

Some vets do physical therapy. Ask the vet, if physical therapy is an option. Vet schools almost always do it. What I did with my little girl is ... I took her to a vet school. The closest one to me is 4 hrs away, but it's one of the best in the country. I took her there, and had the Physical Therapist show me how to do her exercises. That way, I could do them at home myself.
Water therapy is one of the best exercises.You want her to exercise, so she can keep as mobile as possible. The big advantage to water therapy, is that it is non-weight bearing. All you have to do, is let her swim. Do small sessions to start with, and try to increase the length of time. Watch, and see how she does. You might only be able to do short sessions, due to her pain level. Frequency, and consistency, are important. SAFELY, use the warmest water possible. I would suggest getting a baby bath thermometer. Ask the vet what water temperature would be best. Your ferret will like the warm water. It will help decrease her pain. The actual disease, may be causing muscle spasms, around her spine. Sometimes, the body uses spasms to help splint the affected area (in her case, her spine), and help protect it. The warm water will help reduce these spasms, which are sometimes, just as painful as the actual problem.
Also, more than likely, she has some arthritis in her spine. So when weather "fronts" move through your area, she may have increased pain & stiffness. This is especially true with rain, and cold fronts. During these times, the warm water will help her feel better. Even if she's not able to swim, just put her in the water & hold onto her. The warm water will still be soothing, and beneficial.
Ask your vet, if they feel that a heating pad in her cage, would be beneficial. There are pet heating pads. I think I got mine from

On their website, look under the section for ferrets.
Also, ask your vet about using Cosequin. Mine uses it to help reduce my ferret's Arthritis.
I hope this info is helpful.
Remember,BEFORE  doing  ANYthing, ALWAYS ask your vet!!
{Excellent suggestions! Just a caution ferrets do not tolerate water as warm as humans do, so be careful that it is not hot. Should feel cooler rather than warmer to your touch. I would also be careful with any sort of heating pad unless it is for supervised periods of time. A ferret who has difficulty moving may not move off a heating pad that gets too warm. As well not all arthritis, or in this case osteoarthritis responds well to heat, in some cases icing is best. Discuss options with vet as poster suggested. Moderator (TD)]


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