Message Number: FHL14780 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Leslie Cucino
Date: 2012-02-11 14:56:11 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Insulinomic ferret feedings
To: "" <>

I think I should have expanded on what the 'soup' is that my ferrets get. I notice that alot of people feed straight Gerbers or Beechnut turkey or chicken. I usually have this in the house incase of a crash because of the ease to eat the finely ground meat. My 'soup' though is completely different.

I take a whole turkey and either pressure cook or boil it. In a separate pot I also simmer 2 pints of chicken livers and two packages (approx 1 pound each) of the chicken gizzards and hearts and the turkey giblets together until just cooked through. The water that the turkey and the other ingredients were cooked in are poured off into a big bowl or pot. Depending on how large the turkey is, I add anywhere to 1-4 cups of Marshall's kibble, (more for a large turkey, less for a smaller turkey) to the water and let it soak while I grind up the turkey carcass.

I have a meat grinder from Lowe's that I use to grind all the meat that I've cooked. Gizzards, hearts and livers first, then dump the ground meat into the water and kibble. Then I grind the turkey. This grinder will handle SMALL turkey bones, but easily goes through chicken bones if you're patient. I no longer feed whole chicken because some were allergic to it.

When all is ground and mixed together, I freeze it into quart containers and defrost as necessary. This is my ferrets breakfast and evening meal. Those not sick are given free choice 8in1 45% protein kibble and water 24/7. Those that are sick (two currently, one with insulinoma and the other recovering from a lumpectomy) eat this exclusively. 

The majority of my ferrets have always been Marshall's. And they all eventually pass from one of the diseases these guys get, but my onset of adrenal disease and more importantly insulinoma is much later in life, like at 5 years of age. The ferrets I've gotten from rescues usually fair well but have the early onset of adrenal and insulinoma because I had no control over what they had before they came to me. The ones I've gotten as kits have faired much better. I currently have 9 fuzzies at home, 2 rescues, 1 that has mild insulinoma and only gets .2 ml of a 6.75mg/5ml dose of Pedipred 3 x daily and the beginning signs of adrenal disease, aged 6, the other had her adrenal glands removed a year ago and has no reoccurrence of symptoms and no insulinoma, age unknown, est. 5; 2 that I bought as kits that are both 7 now, both have had their adrenals out, about a year ago, the male had his spleen removed and his pancreas sectioned all at the same time as his
adrenal surgery. Both are also on the low dose of Pediapred for borderline insulinoma and that began in the later half of last year. Three big guys aged 3-5 that have no signs of insulinoma or adrenal disease and have never had surgery; and my last two, one bought as a kit who has insulinoma and adrenal, had surgery over a year ago and is maintained on my soup, diazoxide, the same dose of Pedipred and Ensure in the morning and at night, aged 6, and a little 1 year old sable female that's just too young to make any assumptions yet.

I've never seen lymphoma, I've had 2 with heart disease, one a Marshall farm who was helped over the bridge at 6 and a McKid who also unfortunately developed insulinoma and passed during a crash while I tried to save him, aged est 5-6.

Medicinal control of insulinoma in my opinion is important, but if the animal is monitored closely, diet plays a HUGE part in controlling symptoms.


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