Alliemegan's Switching Thread Oct 21, 2008 22:18:42 GMT -5
Post by Alliemegan on Oct 21, 2008 22:18:42 GMT -5
Alliemegan's Boys' Info
1. How many ferrets do you currently have? What are their names, ages, genders, and do they have any health problems (this is VERY important)?
- 4 ferrets, all males, all neutered, all adopted. All their ages are estimates.
Merry (like the Hobbit): 3 yrs old, Diagnosed with insulinoma mid October, 2008. Had a partial pancreatectomy at the same time as a left adrenalectomy. On daily prednisone (1mg daily)
Gadget: 2-3 yrs old. Left adrenalectomy this summer (before we adopted him). Fur grew back beautifully. No meds.
Ursus Polaris (Poley): 3-4 yrs old. Left adrenalectomy about 6 weeks ago. Still pretty naked from the adrenal-related hair loss. Prostate was enlarged before surgery (straining to pee). Currently no more strained urination but a bit drippy after he pees. Not on any meds at the moment.
Tasslehoff (Tassy): 2-3 yrs old. Glaucoma in left eye. Treatment with Timolol eyedrops. Otherwise healthy. No other meds.
2. What are your ferrets currently eating? Include their main diet, plus any treats or supplements (such as duk soup).
Merry only eats Marshall?s kibbles. He will actually pick through his kibbles and ditch anything that?s not Marshall?s. (D*#m you Marshall Farm for imprinting my little guy at an early age! <angry fist shake>) Post-surgery we?re supplementing him with a/d or Recovery.
The other 3 are on EVO ferret. They also steal EVO cat from my kitties? bowls (which I believe are pretty much the same thing).
They get ferretone (1/4 Marshall?s ferretone, ? flax oil, ? canola oil) on their food and straight from the bottle as a treat/ bribe. Also occasionally Prescription Diet T/D stolen from the cats, which I realized recently are more or less like Cheetos for your pets.
3. What kind of diet do you want to switch to?
Raw supplemented with whole prey. Don?t think I can do live prey coz I don?t have the stomach to watch a fuzzy cute creature dispatching another fuzzy cute creature? but never say never!
4. Why do you want to switch to this more natural diet?
After losing our 2 girls, Sally and Taffy, to cancer this summer and Merry diagnosed with insulinoma in quick succession, we realize that we need to do more for our kids? health.
5. Where/what/who got you interested in natural diets?
First read about it in ?Ferrets for Dummies?. Had been researching for a while and tried a few things but nothing took. After 3 of our kids going down one after another this summer, our vet told us that the best chance we can give our remaining kids is to feed raw. We totally agree but just don?t know how to get these stubborn mules to budge. Desperately searching the internet, wishing that someone out there will actually take us by the hand and show us how it?s done? Seems pretty impossible, then I met one of the HF mentors on another forum? and here we are!
6. Please list the current weight for your ferret(s). Do they appear overweight? Underweight? How is their muscle tone?
Merry ? 1 kg (2 lbs). A bit on the skinny side. Poor muscle tone, likely results of adrenal disease/ insulinoma.
Gadget and Tassy ? 1.1 kg (2? lbs). Good muscle tone.
Poley ? 1.7 kg (3? lbs). Very muscular but not overweight.
7. What is the condition of your ferret's teeth/gums? (Can you get a picture?)
Merry has terrible breath, medium to heavy tartar buildup and starting to get gingivitis, even after dental work just 6 months ago. Planning to take him for another dental once he recovers from his surgery.
Gadget and Tassy have great teeth and nice pink gums. No tartar.
Polely is starting to get some tartar in the back of his mouth. Gums look okay.
8. Describe the texture/color of your ferrets coat.
Merry is a sable. He?s lost pretty much all of his undercoat from his adrenal disease but still has his coarse guard hairs. He?s pretty itchy still. Skin underneath looks dry from all the scratching.
Gadget is a silver blaze. Nice shiny coat.
Tassy is a roan (?). He has the most amazingly silky coat.
Poley is a DEW. He?s pretty much naked from his neck down due to adrenal. Has blackheads on his back and his tail. We moisturize him with baby Aveeno everyday. I really have to restrain myself from squeezing his blackheads like I do to my own?
9. How often does your ferret go to the bathroom?
They get 2 runs a day and we change their litter pans at each one: in the morning before we leave for work and at night before we go to bed.
Overnight there are usually 1-2 poops per ferret. At the evening change we?re looking at 3-4 poops. Maybe 1-2 more outside of the cage when they?re out for their runs.
Holy sh*t, when you count it out like that, that?s a lot of poops!
10. Does your ferret's feces and/or urine smell?
Not particularly except Poley?s. Probably a result of his sky high testosterone.
Recently Merry?s poops are kinda loose, like thick oatmeal (sorry if you?re having breakfast while reading this). Maybe due to his a/d diet?
11. Smell your ferret. How strong is their odor?
Tassy and Gadget don?t really smell. A nice musk-o-ferret.
Poley smells a bit strong but not as bad as before his surgery. Probably coz his testosterone is still a bit high from his adrenal disease.
Merry has stinky breath. But the rest of him is fine.
12. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being completely lethargic and 10 being "through the roof!" what is your ferret's energy level?
Merry is probably a 4. He?s short bursts of energy but mostly he?s still pretty lethargic. He has trouble keeping up with the other boys.
Poley is about an 8 and Gadget about a 9. Poley is the first to zonk out after Merry. Tassy is an 11? he?s the Tasmanian devil!
13. How excited is your ferret about mealtime (when fed kibble)?
They have kibbles in their cages at all times. Can?t say they?re particularly excited about those. But they goes nuts over the T/D bits the same way a 3 year-old go crazy on the sight of a Happy Meal.
14. Have you attempted to switch from kibble to a natural diet in the past? If so, what methods have you tried. Be specific.
- Offered ground rabbit/ duck, chicken wing bits, egg yolks, jarred chicken baby food, cooked chicken. The general reaction was: blank stare, sniff, sometimes a lick, then ignore.
- Tried dousing real meat bits with ferretone or ?breaded? them with kibble crumbs to make them more appetizing but the brats just licked off the ?tone.
- Gadget is the most adventurous with food. We recently got him to try raw salmon and organic chicken jerky. He also stole my hubby?s BBQ pork once (most certainly not good for him but at least it?s real meat)
- Merry loves a/d and Recovery but the other 3 boys wouldn?t go near it. You think maybe we can sneak some raw ground meat in to the a/d?
15. What other information about your ferret(s) would you like to share?
Gadget, Tassy and Poley were adopted together this August from the Ferret Aid Society in Toronto. We were hoping that Taffy and Merry would have some new friends after Sally passed away. Unfortunately, Tassy does not get along with our old group. Mer and Taf got their little butts kicked and literally the poops scared out of them. Introduction was slow and largely unsuccessful in the first month or so, then Taffy got sick. She went down really fast and she passed away just 2 weeks after showing signs of illness. Then Merry was up for his adrenal surgery about 2 weeks ago and it turns out his got the double whammy.
I?m really worried about Merry, with losing his sister and a big bad bully in the house, he?s probably stressed to the max. He?s gotten a bit skinnier since his surgery and we?re trying to fatten him up a bit with a/d but I?m not sure it?s working. He?s not eating his kibbles anymore. Maybe he?s holding out for a/d. I?m not sure the extra stress with switching his food at this point will do him harm or good.
16. If you can, please post a clear photograph of EACH of your ferrets directly below:
a.) Do you understand that by starting this thread you commit to posting updates on the progress of your ferret(s) diet switch at least every other day?**
Yes, I understand and I?m totally committed to switching my boys.
b.) Do you understand that if you will be away from your computer for an extended period of time you will need to exchange phone numbers (or email addresses if you don't feel comfortable exchanging numbers) via private message with your assigned mentor, so that we can monitor your progress and ensure your ferret's safety during the switch?
It?s only fair. The mentors are checking on us everyday. The least we can do is match that commitment. I?ll be happy to provide my email address and phone number.
c.) Do you understand that any threads that have not been updated in for more then a week (with no explanation as to why you are absent) will result in the deletion of the thread?***
Yes, I understand. Seems more than fair.
**Note 1: If you are unable to make it to a computer (such as on weekends) please indicate below so we know whether you just dont have computer access or if you have gone MIA.
***Note 2: If you would like to try the switch again and you are committed to making regular updates you ARE welcome to restart your thread. Failure to provide regular updates will result in the deletion of your thread.