Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 10, 2009 22:03:45 GMT -5
I am giving riku and moose just raw and they are loving it. I posted some pictures of them in the picture section under "new raw eaters." Having some issues with champ, may have to go back on medication for ulcers. He is still on his wellness but once we get his ulcers under control I will switch him too.
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 11, 2009 8:30:55 GMT -5
That's wonderful ! I loved the pics. They look like they are doing well with the ground.
Next step with them would be to dice up some meat very small, but a little bit bigger than ground, and let them have that. You may find that they pick up a piece and run with it, to eat it in private. This is when you may want to set up a feeding den. Here is a link for them: holisticferret.proboards80.com/index.cgi?board=enrich&action=display&thread=230 Check it out. It only worked for two of mine, but a lot of ferrets prefer them.
With Champ, yes, get the medical under control first, poor baby! We'll deal with his switch later.
Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 14, 2009 23:25:36 GMT -5
ok lets try this again my computer decided to delete everything that I wrote. Ok so I just want to be honest. I think I switched to raw a little to quickly not because of the ferrets but more for my confidence. I am just a little concerned about the safety of bones in the raw food. I was reading on the forum about ferrets cutting their mouths up by eating bones. I am also worried that they are not getting all the nutrients that they need. For example the recent post about taurine and decaying in frozen foods. And what other supplements they need in order to stay healthy. I was also wondering what kind of meat to get should I go to the store and buy meat to ground up, can I use the raw that we sell at work. And then what type of raw should I feed we have some raw food that is just ground up meat through natural pet Pantry, or we sell commercial raw like natures variety but that has vegetables in them. Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for all your help by the way u have been awesome.
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2009 23:26:03 GMT -5 by crazyferret17
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 15, 2009 0:57:43 GMT -5
Well, it looks like I'm going to be your official mentor , and I should warn you- this is a long post
. Let me tell you a little about myself, then we'll get to dealing with all the questions:D(and not to worry- the only silly question is the one you don't ask!)
As you've noticed, my name is Sherry, and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I'm 50, got my own business cleaning. Enough about me- now to the important things- fuzzies!
I presently have 4 of my own, and 2 foster ferrets. Mine are Boris(sable) and Vincent(albino), two 1 1/2yr. old brothers(littermates), Sinnead(3yr. old sable female), and Lucrezia, a 10m. old marked DEW who's also deaf. They are all brats!
The switch for my guys was-interesting! Lucrezia was an easy switch, because she was only 12 weeks when she went raw. Sinnead wasn't too far behind. Vincent had a setback when he choked on a piece too big for him to swallow, the piggy. He was fine, but scared off raw for about a week. Boris? Well, to this day, every time I try something new with Boris, he's convinced I'm poisoning him . Even with his organ soupies, since it's weekly, it's always new to him. I have to scruff, put some on his nose as he's twisting to get away, THEN he realizes, "Hey- I've had this before, and I like it!". But he still has to be fed on my lap from a spoon, or he wn't eat it
As for my fosters- there is Zeus, who I'm convinced is going to be as difficult a switch as Boris was . He's a 2yr. old happy-go-lucky cuddly boy, silver in colour, and his bonded cagemate, Athena. She's a light sable, who has decided she far prefers real food to that awful kibbles. She's been an easy switch so far.
The advantages of a raw diet are amazing! They have so much energy, they run rings around my fosters, who are just starting their switch. Their fur is so soft, their teeth are gleaming white(which means no dental costs- yippee!), and, as I found out recently, their healing capacity is dramatically improved! Sinnead sliced her tongue open quite badly. It was cut 1/3 of the way across, right through, top to bottom. In a week, she was pronounced over 95% healed, and was back to her regular diet, bone and all, within 2 weeks from the date of the injury!
And that last bit should help a little with the concern about bone injuries. She got hold of a piece of old brittle bone she'd stashed somewhere that I didn't find it. Is there a danger from fresh bone? Of course, but the fresh bone will not splinter, nor cut. What could possible happen is that a piece gets stuck in the teeth(usually they work it out on their own, like a popcorn shell in yours.) The very odd time, you might have to help.
You have to remember- ferrets are well equipped to deal with bones. The natural diet of the polecat is whole prey. They don't have anyone to debone their meat for them.
As far as supplementation goes, some people feel more comfortable giving taurine along with the diet. Personally, I don't think it's necessary. Yes, there is some taurine depletion with freezing, no one is certain just how much. And yes, ferrets probably do need taurine in their diet, but again, not enough is known about it. Before I switched mine, I did a great deal of research into diets, and finally decided this one is the most appropriate for my ferrets.
With the nutrients, that's why it's so important to give a minimum of 3 different protiens, preferably of different ages(ie, lamb and mutton, fryer chicken and stewing hen). That way, you know your bases are covered.
When I go shopping for the ferrets, and my one cat(the rest haven't as yet been switched, stubborn kitties :, I get pork, beef, cornish hen, quail, turkey necks, duck necks, elk, smelts, herring, whatever liver and kidney I can get my hot little hands on , rabbit, turkey meat. I simply buy whatever is on sale, whatever is close to the expiry date, I raid friends freezers for slightly freezer burned meats(I just cut off the burned part). They also get freeze dried Stella and Chewy's, and Wysong's Archetypal 1 Ferret, for when they have to spend the day at the vets(when they have a check up, I drop them in the morning, and pick them up after work), or if they've been piggies and eaten all their meat for their meal I guess what I'm trying to say is they can eat whatever your imagination can come up with. And of course, a commercially prepared diet is always acceptable, but I really think you should also give things like chicken wings, so they can have the dental benefits, as well as something they can literally sink their teeth into! It's really something to listen to a ferret crunching bones, as they were meant to do
Nervous about bones?? Trust Sherrylynne she won't lead you astray My little sods have been eating raw rmb (raw meat and bones) for over 10 yrs. I think I've personally switched over 30 ferrets and have been responsible for mentoring as many (both on this list and on another raw list that I'm a moderator). The only problem that I've encountered with the ferrets is occasionally they get bones caught in their teeth (the incident mentioned in the thread in the medical section is rare, in fact this is the first time I've ever seen or heard of it happening, but then I've had a ferret almost choke to death when some kibble wedged across his windpipe...scared the h*** out of me). The newbies (ferrets, not human ) seem to do this more than the ones that have been eating raw for awhile. All you have to do is take your fingernail and flick the bone out from behind the tooth. I think the longer they've been on raw the better they are at doing this for themselves. If you're very afraid of bones then grind or buy premade. Hare today or rodentpro both provide good products with minimal vegetables. Some vegetables can offer a benefit to your guys (I notice that you've got a little fellow with either ulcers or IBD..I've found that my IBD and ulcer ferrets benefit hugely from veggies and it doesn't do the other guys any harm either,) These aren't raw veggies but prefrozen. The theory is that it becomes the hair and other inedibles that your guys doesn't get when you don't eat prey. An indigestible but very useful part of your ferret's diet. You won't reap all the tooth cleaning benefits but you will still get all the mineral and calcium benefits that's reaped from eating real bone. Some people never graduate beyond that. I can remember the terror I felt the first time I handed my beloved gr pyrenees a whole chicken. I mean I had always been told that horrible things would happen if I gave chicken bones...you know what....nothing happened Better yet, the teeth that I was supposed to pay the vet to clean, didn't need cleaning anymore, his coat got softer, he put on lean hard muscle weight. The same thing happened with the ferrets. Trace mineral loss through freezing is minimal. If you're really terrified ( I know I was when I first started) buy some taurine capsules and break it into their food. Add some extra chicken heart (very high in taurine), add some liver and cover your vit a. All meat carries taurine, some more than others but all meat carries it. Yes freezing does destroy some but not all or even alot. You're furbabies are already eating ground raw....wow!! Pat yourself on the back, you're already half way there!! Fantastic. Now we have to get your guys eating some bone so that they can progress down the road to healthy ferts ciao
Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 18, 2009 18:47:24 GMT -5
sorry I have not replied lately I have been really stressed lately. This finals week last one is tomorrow!!! Champ has taken a turn for the worst. He has lost more weight and he is not eating, i am having to force feed him. He is back on his medication but just going day by day right now. But riku and moose are still eating the raw. riku is not that interested yet. I am just getting them used to different flavors right now and when i have more time i will start to feed them bigger chunks.
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 19, 2009 8:54:15 GMT -5
Thanks for posting in . I'm so sorry to hear about Champ. Good luck with the little guy, and I do fully understand. We'll just take the transition with the other two at a pace that's not going to stress anyone out. Let me know how it's going, ok?
Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 19, 2009 16:34:12 GMT -5
do you know anything that might help champ with his ulcers. Or is love and affection all that I can do right now. He is on medication and force feeding him food plus some water so he does not get dehydrated. he is just so weak it is scaring me. I am going to call my vet tomorrow since they are closed today. I think he is just out of it because of his pain meds but I have taken him off those to see if he gets a little more ambitious. Talk to you soon.
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 19, 2009 17:25:33 GMT -5
I know some people do carafate 30 min. before meds, or give the meds with soupies. Also pepcid(not sure of the dosage). I've sent a pm to Heather for more info. I'll keep the little guy in my thoughts, and let you know as soon as I hear anything. Here's another forum you may want to check out. It's called the Ferret Health List. It deals with everything with sick fuzzies. pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ferrethealth/
Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 19, 2009 23:26:01 GMT -5
Ok so done with finals so one less stress in my life for the moment. Champ is starting to eat, and is eager too. He is just very thin and has no muscle mass and justs sleeps most of the time. he was moving a little more tonight. But the rest of the ferts are doing great. Made some beef strips and gave some to Riku and moose. Moose thought it was awesome riku on the other hand just sniffed it and started running around like a crazy woman, this is a normal occurrence. So here is my dilemma. Moose is getting a little on the pudgy side, how do you think I should take care of this. He loves his food. Riku is a good weight maybe a little pudgy but she eats when she feels like it. So here is where I am coming into problems. If I leave food out for riku, moose goes and eats it before she feels the need to eat. Any recommendations would be great.
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 20, 2009 8:36:40 GMT -5
Ok, to start, here's Heather's advice on ferret ulcers. I just copied and pasted because it's a bit too complex to paraphrase:
*I've tried a couple of different methods. Two have been successful. With little Mischief I went totally holistic. I worked with 2 homeopaths and one of the representatives from Ambertech (I couldn't find a vet in my area that would treat ferrets). I used Parvaid, Vibactra, CS, slippery elm, a totally ground raw diet, and a homeade electrolyte blend. I wish that I had understood at that time a small detail that I failed to do then that I now do and that is to add a small amount of squash or pumpkin (it makes the diet much easier to digest). With Aremis, we went medically and used antibiotics to fight the heliobacter virus and sulcrate. Unfortunately, with Aremis we're also combating lymphomas so I also have to use pred. Aremis also gets mfg baby food and carnivore care along with any raw diet he wishes to eat (but he has a horrible time absorbing nutrients and at the moment he doesn't appear to be absorbing them at all ) Today, he ate two pinky mice but to give you an idea as to how poorly his digestive track is working they actually came out pretty much the way they went in Which method is better....I honestly can't answer it. The holistic method requires a lot of work and you will have to go it without the benefit of most vets. I had the support of a couple of homeopaths who gave of their time to try and save Mischief. At the time Amberteck had no idea what their formulas might do to a ferret, so we worked together with their techs. Mischief lived for another 2.5 yrs after diagnosis and finally passed on to lymphomas of the spleen and liver. Heliobacter bacterium requires about a month sometimes more of antibiotics. Either way you play the game, if you allow it to go untreated you will kill the ferret. The one thing I did discover was that in both cases, you can feed raw, do not feed milk products or cream (they have a tendency to loose weight in the active stage of this and you will want to try and get them to put on weight, don't resort to short cuts). Pumpkin or squash helps them digest their raw diet. You cannot use supportive care only in the active stage, you must use some form of antibiotic, whether it be through Ambertech or your vet. IF you're going to treat homeopathically, I would be tempted to make use of a homeopath they will treat over the phone or internet, unless you have one available locally (I didn't, I used a lady in Montreal and another out of Sidney Australia). I will help you if and all I can, but I cannot take the place of either a homeopath or a vet. Diagnosis is your first and primary goal. Once there is a diagnosis then you will be better able to decide what your best options are. I hope that I as able to help you a little. Good luck ciao*
Now, as to Moose eating all the food. Most male ferrets will eat 2-4 oz per meal. Maybe he just needs a bit more to be full. You could also try feeding dens, see how they do with that. I have 3 that like to den when they eat. Here's the link for those: holisticferret.proboards80.com/index.cgi?board=enrich&action=display&thread=230 Also remember, winter weight gain is normal. Most ferrets will be a good deal pudgier in the winter season.My "odd man out" is Sinnead. She has her seasons backwards. Right now, she's summer coat and lesser appetite
I usually just make sure there is enough left out for the day/night, so they can snack as they please, even if it's freeze dried. I measure/weigh approx. what they should have(aver. 3oz per boy, 1 1/2 oz per girl), and if they finish that, they get either Archetypal 1 or Stella and Chewy's. By the way- your guy/gal are doing great! You may find, though, that once they are on chunks, they might not want the ground anymore , and prefer the "big ferret food".
Post by crazyferret17 on Mar 24, 2009 1:38:14 GMT -5
Hello so I had probably the worst day yesterday you can read about it in the rainbow Bridge (goodbye to champ). Riku and moose are doing well still trying to get riku to eat raw but she likes her evo. I have been pretty stressed out and I don't know how the next few days are going to go for me because of champ. But I will try my best to keep up. It is just going to take me a few days to kind of get back to normal. Hope your clan is doing well.
Post by sherrylynne on Mar 24, 2009 8:09:42 GMT -5
Ah, hon. I'm so sorry to hear about Champ. I've been a bit stressed lately, too. One of mine is now on lupron for adrenal. Just keep on the way you are until you can get your equalibrium back again. And hugs to you and your babies for me. You also might want to watch for depression in the others over Champ's death. They can sometimes just give up over missing a bonded cage mate.