As carnivores, ferrets require a high meat protein diet and many veterinarians believe that they benefit from taurine in their diet, just like cats.
Since a ferret has a very short digestive transit time (approximately 3-4 hrs.) the ferret’s stomach and intestines do not have adequate time to break down and absorb the vegetable matter in these lower quality foods and most of the food will pass through undigested.
A poor diet may also set your ferret up for future health problems which will cost you money to correct later.
This can be serious as it leaves a wide entrance for bacteria and infection may result.
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Checking your pet’s glands regularly and detecting impaction early can help prevent ruptures or infection.
This condition occurs when high levels of estrogen are produced during the “heat” cycle and suppress the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow.
Close examination may show the gums to be pale and sometimes even the nose, ears and pads on the feet will lose color.
Moderate anemia may require multiple blood transfusions and other supportive care prior to surgery.
Other symptoms are chronic coughing, shortness of breath, fluid build up in the abdomen and lethargy.
Cataracts may affect one or both eyes, but the latter is most common.
Juvenile cataracts generally show up before the ferret is one year old.
Geriatric cataracts are usually caused by the aging of the eye, injuries to the eye, or possibly from taurine deficiencies.
Since ferrets generally have poor eyesight and since cataracts usually develop slowly, you may not even notice that your ferret has them.
This does not indicate the return of your ferret’s vision, although he may be able to detect some light again.
This may present itself as a slow wasting condition as the object replaces the space needed for proper food digestion (hairballs often present themselves in this manner).
If the foreign body passes out of the stomach and lodges in the small intestine, the ferret will usually become acutely ill (severely depressed, dehydrated and experiencing acute abdominal pain).
Soak towels in cool water and lay them over the ferret or partially submerge the ferret in a basin of tepid (not cold!) water.
If there is no improvement within 5-10 minutes, get the animal to the veterinarian immediately.
Do not set his cage near a window where it will be hit with direct sunlight.
To keep the ferret cool while driving, be sure to give him plenty of cold water.
They can catch it from humans or other ferrets and can pass it back again as well.
If a cold persists more than 3 days without any improvement; if the nasal discharge is discolored (not clear); if the ferret is wheezing or having breathing problems; if the ferret is extremely lethargic; if the ferret has lost its appetite completely; or if the ferret appears to have a fever, see your veterinarian right away.
If you have a cold, let someone else take care of the ferret for you until you are better.
Feline distemper is rare in ferrets and usually only affects very young kits.
As the disease progresses, the pads on the feet may harden and thicken.
Euthanasia is strongly recommended as distemper is a horrible, painful disease.
Kits (baby ferrets) should receive an initial series of shots at 6-8 wks., 11 wks., and 14 wks.
Some ferrets are severely affected while others have little or no discomfort.
Pedialyte may be added to improve consistency for syringe feeding.
Ferrets that aren’t eating well on their own will need to eat 2-4 oz.
This can be administered at a dose of 1 cc 2 times during the first 24 hours, then it should be reduced to. 30 cc 1-3 times a day for up to 4 more days.
The suspension settles quickly and must be shaken well before each dose is administered.
The adrenal glands produce hormones which control a number of metabolic functions in the ferret’s body.
Adenocarcinoma is the malignant (spreading) form of the disease.
Since this usually is a fairly slow progressing disease, many older ferrets can live out normal life spans without surgery, but males may develop prostate problems and females with swollen vulvas are susceptible to infection.
This cancer causes the beta cells to produce abnormally high levels of insulin, which drives the sugar out of the blood stream and into the body too quickly.
Staggering while walking; drooling; pawing at the mouth; and mild seizures usually come next.
These are generally involuntary and do not mean that the ferret is in any pain), severe seizures, coma and death.
One problem with this is that there are no guarantees that more tumors won’t grow and you may face a repeat performance.
We have seen animals survive over three years on medical therapy.
The disadvantage of medical therapy is that it does not necessarily stop the growth of the cancer and increased doses of medication may be needed as the disease progresses.
When the ferret starts to come around, then you can proceed as described above.
Diet and heredity are suspects and some veterinarians believe that it may be caused by a virus.
Due to the younger ferret’s body being geared for growth, juvenile lymphosarcoma is often fatal because the disease spreads quickly in the freshly growing cells.
A ferret with lymphosarcoma may have one or more of these symptoms, but these symptoms by themselves are not totally indicative of the disease.
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Therefore a high quality dry ferret or kitten food is an excellent choice.
Most grocery store cat foods and some ferret foods are made primarily from corn and soybean meals.
The ferret will have to eat more to satisfy its nutritional needs and in turn will produce more stools; so in the long run, buying a cheaper brand of food will probably not save you any money.
A ferret may “scoot” his butt on the floor, if the impaction is irritating him, but usually most ferrets don’t seem to be bothered by this condition.
For a ruptured gland, surgery is necessary and you may want to have both glands removed at the same time for convenience.
Advanced cases are irreversible and death occurs from the severe anemia and secondary bacterial infections that set in.
If the condition is caught early, the ferret may be spayed to prevent reoccurrence of the problem.
If the condition is advanced, there is no treatment since at that point it is irreversible.
Some breeders use vasectomized hobs to bring jills out of heat, but this method is sometimes unreliable.
It consists of either the thinning or the thickening of the walls of the heart.
Feeding your ferret a high quality diet may also help prevent or control this condition.
Depending on the maturity of the cataract, the ferret may see little to no light.
Sometimes the affected lens dissolves and the eye becomes clear again.
Feeding a diet containing taurine may help, but no concrete evidence has been collected to support this theory.
If it is organic in nature (such as a hairball), the veterinarian may try oral treatments with digestive enzymes or heavy doses of cat laxative before attempting surgery.
Do not leave him alone in a car, even on cool days, since the temperature inside the car can rise higher than the outside air temperature very fast!
You may also take a 2 liter pop bottle and fill it 2/3 full of water and freeze it the night before your trip.
If you have to handle the ferret yourself, wear a facemask and wash your hands before handling the ferret.
They are both modified live vir us vaccines derived from non-ferret tissue cultures.
Age, body fat distribution, general health, and possibly genetics may be factors.
Most ferrets recover from this stage of the virus in about 2-7 days.
The ferret may stop eating and anorexia and dehydration set in.
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We also add 1 teaspoon of butter (not margarine) per can of a/d to add calories for severe cases.
Some ferrets may need to be hand fed to make sure that they are eating.
Older ferrets, especially, seem prone to cancers; and multiple cancers are common in ferrets over 5 years of age.
Many cases of cancer in ferrets that are not curable are at least controllable if caught early.
Spayed females may develop vulvular swelling as if they were in heat.
It is fairly common in ferrets over 3 years of age and approximately 40 – 50% of all ferrets get it.
This causes a serious drop in the blood sugar level and affects the brain, which needs a constant supply of sugar.
Some veterinarians prefer to approach the disease aggressively by surgically removing most of the tumors.
Another problem is that sometimes the tumors are too small to even be seen (the average insulinoma tumor is smaller than a pin head) or there are too many of them to remove without damaging the pancreas.
The ferret would need to receive oral medication for the rest of its life.
Giving the ferret high protein treats such as baby food (meat varieties) and making sure that the ferret eats regularly throughout the day is beneficial.
Insulinomas have also been known to spread to other tissues and organs, such as the spleen, liver and even the lungs.
If the animal is seizuring or is unconscious, rub some honey or syrup on his inner lips and gums.
Until more is known about the cause of this disease, no preventative measures can be established.
Other diseases, such as the flu, may present themselves in the same manner.
These areas may become so swollen that the ferret looks like it has marbles under the skin.
Age, advancement of the disease, and other health problems factor into the criteria of whether a ferret would be a good candidate for chemotherapy.
Ferret Friendly Facts and Advice By Erika Matulich by cypresskeep.com
Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your own pet or animal.
The main reason ferrets have heat problems is that they can’t sweat.
Dogs pant to move air over moisture in their mouths to cool themselves.
Although ferrets can live through high temperatures, heat-related stress weakens their immune system and shortens their life.
These temperature guidelines assume low humidity levels (less than 40 percent).
This is because higher humidity levels don’t allow for moisture evaporation and heat dissipation from the skin.
Provide adequate water, and use ice or evaporative cooling to cool the surrounding air.
Heatstroke can be fatal within minutes—one of the reasons you should never leave your ferret (or any pet or animal) in a parked car.
The ferret may have her mouth open, and her nose and gums might turn a darker pink (or white, if she is going into shock).
Higher temperatures, rapid pulse, and shallow breathing indicate heatstroke.
My ferrets’ ears read between 96 and 100 degrees, with most at 98.
Keep your own head cool, remove your ferret from the heat, and start cooling slowly.
Your ferret may need treatment for dehydration or shock.
Because ferrets don’t tolerate heat well, ferret owners must take extra care during summer to prevent heat stress and heatstroke.
Ferrets don’t normally pant; if you see your ferrets panting, he is suffering from heat stress and is in danger of heatstroke.
If the outdoor climate has temperatures above 80 degrees, ferrets should be kept indoors in a temperature-controlled environment.
To avoid heat stress, keep your ferret in an air-conditioned room, away from direct sunlight.
Despite taking these precautions, you may have a ferret suffer from heat stress, which can quickly lead to heatstroke.
Further symptoms are a large quantity of mucus coming from the nose and mouth; collapse; seizures; and finally, coma.
To take a rectal temperature, shake down the thermometer, coat it with petroleum jelly, and insert it into the rectum a half inch.
You may need to have someone distract or restrain the ferret during this procedure.
If you cool your ferret too quickly, his temperature can drop to a dangerously low level.
Drip it in the side of the mouth or under the tongue, making sure the ferret laps and swallows.
Rubbing alcohol can be applied to the footpads (but nowhere else).
Don’t skip the veterinarian; ferrets can go into shock hours after the heatstroke symptoms have stopped.
Sasha, and they’ve gotten many other ferrets over heat stress and out of danger of heatstroke.
Wild ferrets live in underground burrows, where they are protected from heat.
Fun In The Sun Can Be Dangerous For Your Ferret! Know The Signs Of Heat by smallpetselect.com
But, it’s time to draw some attention to ferrets, and how they’re also susceptible to the heat.
Ferrets don’t sweat, so they can’t lower their body temperature.
Recognizing heat stroke is a little easier in ferrets because they’re going to be extremely lethargic and won’t or are slow to move.
Talk to your ferret to calm them if they seem to be in panic mode.
If possible, have a friend or family member drive you so that you can focus on the care of your pet.
Check your ferret’s temperature with a rectal thermometer every 5 minutes to make sure you’re providing a stabilized cool down.
Just like chinchillas, your ferret can get heat stroke, too; they’re extremely prone to it.
That’s why they need us to keep their temps stable when it’s super hot.
Your vet will continue to monitor body temperature and stabilize to proper levels if you haven’t already.
Blood samples may also possibly be taken to monitor clot time, a common complication of heat stroke in ferrets.
Going through a heat stroke episode with your ferret is scary.
So obviously, we want and need to know, as our ferret’s family, what we can do to never go through it again.
Air conditioning, too, is an ideal way to ensure their environment is staying cool (but don’t place it directly in front of your ferret.
You’ll be able to enjoy more play time and snuggles without worry.
Ferret Health Checklist by ferret-world.com
Ferrets are unique and exciting pets that can make wonderful companions for the right people.
Ferrets are clean animals that need a lot of mental stimulation, exercise, and play.
It is highly inappropriate to keep ferrets in aquariums due to lack of ventilation and unsanitary conditions.
The wires/bars should also be strong and thick so they cannot be bent.
This will keep cleaning time to a minimum and and allow you to do it without too much hassle.
This is why it is important to provide your ferret with adequate bedding that suits his needs.
A ferret generally has a few favourite spots that he will sleep in regularly.
Rotating bedding options can also add a little variety and excitement to a ferret’s life.
Handling is also essential for socialization and training him not to bite.
In addition, your vet will be grateful for your work because it will make her job easier.
Ferret moms (just like cat moms) carry their babies by scruffing them.
Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means that they lack the enzymes in their bodies required to process plant and plant-based materials.
Ferrets need a lot of protein and fat and very little fiber and carbohydrates to stay healthy.
Most commercial kibbles have an appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio.
This is why you really need to know what you are doing when feeding a raw diet.
A lot of ferret owners swear by a raw and whole prey diet and have had great results with it.
When feeding your ferret a raw meat-based diet, make sure that you feed a wide variety of meats, organs, and bones.
This means that you will need to spend a lot of time playing with your ferret and making sure you are meeting his mental health needs.
Most importantly, ferrets love human interaction and affection.
Exercise and play not only help to keep your ferret’s intelligent mind happy but also allow him to stay physically healthy too.
You will need to get into a routine with your cleaning to make sure you uphold hygiene standards as well as looking after your ferret’s general wellbeing.
However, one thing that you will practically never need to do is bathe your ferret.
This can lead to the ferret developing a stronger smell and getting dry, itchy, unhealthy skin.
Unfortunately, not all vets are experienced in caring for ferret, which in some cases can be the difference between life and death.
Call local veterinary practices to see which one treats the most ferrets, or get in touch with your local ferret shelter and find out who they use to treat their ferrets.
Otherwise she is likely to go into heat and once she is in heat, she may develop a condition called aplastic anemia.
The smell is due to hormones that cause them to secrete more musk.
Most ferret experts recommend that you neuter your hob around 5-7 months of age.
Your ferret will need to visit a vet for regular checkups and vaccinations at least once a year.
They are also more fragile than other pets, such as dogs or cats.
Sadly, most ferrets will get very sick due to one of the many diseases that are common to ferrets.
Ferret healthcare is expensive, and being prepared to pay for vet bills is an important part of caring for your ferret.
However, it is important to remember that they do have special requirements when it comes to their care.
It needs to be large enough to allow space for litter boxes, sleeping areas (at least two), and food and water.
The best cages for ferrets are those with closely set wire bars, which are adequately ventilated and kept out of direct sunlight to maintain an appropriate temperature.
Ferrets are smart, so the locking mechanism of the cage should be physically impossible for your ferret to open, even if they figure out how to do it!
Their wild ancestor, the polecat, prefers to sleep in dark, enclosed burrows for safety and comfort.
Ideally, you want to have a few varieties of ferret bedding in the cage for him.
But having a variety of options also makes the cage more interesting.
The best types of bedding for ferrets include fleece blankets, old t-shirts, hammocks, cubes and other novelty ferrets beds.
The more handled a ferret is (especially from a young age), the tamer he will become, which will make the time you spend with your ferret a lot more enjoyable.
Scruffing is done by gathering the loose skin on the back of the neck into a bunch and picking them up with it.
Your ferret’s health requires a high-quality diet; otherwise you might find yourself spending more money on vet bills due to your ferret’s poor health.
Their diets should entirely consist of meat and meat-based products.
Because they cannot digest plant matter well, the protein and fat must come from meat-based sources.
Generally there are two types of diet that people feed their ferrets: high-quality commercial foods or a raw diet (or a combination of both).
Different meats, offcuts, and organs will have different nutritional values; some have more nutrients and minerals and others have fewer.
Otherwise your ferret could become nutritionally deficient and sick.
But if done wrong, it could be very detrimental to your ferret.
Ferrets are highly intelligent animals, which require a lot of mental stimulation during play time.
At least 2 of those hours should be highly interactive playtime.
You can do this by making or purchasing a variety of toys he can play with, steal and stash, climb or run through.
Unless they get into mud or dirt, a ferret’s coat is self cleaning, and they have oils in their skin that can go into overdrive if they are washed too often.
Before you get a ferret, it is important to find the right veterinarian to look after your ferret’s needs.
This condition is very serious and could even kill her if she is not brought out of heat with a jill jab, vasectomised male, or through mating.
Hobs also groom themselves with urine to attract female mates.
During the checkup, your vet will also check for dental disease and any other disease symptoms.
Ferrets are prone to injuries and accidents due to their curious nature and high intelligence.
This reality means ongoing treatments and expensive vet bills.
Ferrets and The Summer Heat: Signs Of Heat Stroke by petsthrill.com
Maybe you’re fine, but how is your ferret handling the heat?
The main reason ferrets are so sensitive to heat is the way their bodies work.
They need you to help them cool down and make them healthy and cool during the hot months.
As you probably know, your ferret must have fresh, cool water for drinking.
If he starts to droll, vomit or gasp, he is probably having a heat stroke.
Get every part of the body: head, paws, tail, legs everything.
If that doesn’t help, there is another possible way to cool your ferret — but if the ferret isn’t a fan of water, the ferret won’t like it.
Very slowly place your ferret in the tub, legs first, and cool him with the somewhat cool or tepid water.
Some ferrets don’t like bathing, so talk to your ferret to calm him down.
Anja loves ferrets and wants to show others how they are great animals and perfect pets.
Anja is sharing her knowledge, including interesting tricks to help you and your ferret in different situations.
Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement unless specified.
They don’t sweat, not even a little, so they can’t lower their body temperature like dogs do through panting.
Another quick and simple solution is to freeze plastic bottles with water and place them in the cage, around your home and wherever your ferret likes to sleep or just hang out.
The best position is near the cage, placed diagonally so it doesn’t blow directly into the cage.
But how can you prevent something if you don’t know how it looks?
Do that for a few minutes; it will gradually lower your ferret’s temperature.
Use a cup to pour water on your pet, starting from the tail.
Remember that your ferret is ill, so words of encouragement and your calm voice can help your pet to recover faster.
You could even be in the car wiping down your ferret with a cool wet towel while a friend drives you to the vet.
Did My Ferret Have A Stroke? by answers.yahoo.com
Most ferret owners are very sensitive about how their ferret is doing on a daily basis, these animals are loved and if that is all you can say, don’t say it at all.