Post by carnivorouszoo on May 31, 2010 9:22:23 GMT -5
I ran a search and came up with nothing so I thought I would ask so others can find it in the future.
What are the symptoms of shelter shock?
What can be done to counteract these symptoms?
When is it necessary to take shelter shock to the vet for advanced (or more than you can give at home) treatment?
I am a little concerned that my Jack might have a touch of shelter shock but am not quite sure as I never dealt with it when I fostered. I think its an important topic to have on hand for those new to ferrets especially with ferrets from someone else.
Post by sherrylynne on May 31, 2010 9:25:21 GMT -5
I've not dealt with it myself, but from what I've read, it's a strong form of grieving. The ferret doesn't want to eat, play, will do nothing willingly except sleep. They will sometimes need hand feedings, lots of special attention. As to when to take them to a vet for it? I'm thinking when you can't get enough nutrition into them.
Shelter shock is deadly. It can be called many things...but depression is the easiest thing to describe it as. Quite simply put the ferret curls up and dies, sometimes there's nothing you can do except offer outside assistance and try and get your little one to take an interest in life. It's terrifying because in truth except for making sure that your little one gets the necessities of life, you will loose this ferret and it has nothing to do with the animals physical state. In cases like this working closely with your vet is an absolute necessity. Cases have been known that IV fluids and forced syringe feedings have to be used. I've dealt with it twice. In both cases the ferrets absolute neglect of self (grooming, potty) is noted, they will refuse to drink water and eat food. They will curl up in the back of a cage or if moved will curl up in some dark corner. No interest is shown in any activity or other ferret. Mischief, developed ulcers and required sub q fluids. Napoleon gave back life and dignity to Mischief. Calypso....ahhh my little Calypso. She's still giving me grief. She's never found that little something that makes her life worth living. She's not sick....but she's not happy either . She would not eat if she had the choice ( I hand feed her 2 sometimes 3 x a day) She will occasionally pick up a mouse on her own and the last month or so has begun walking around and checking out the house after everyone has gone to bed. Maybe.....but I can't make her want to live, I can only supply the opportunity. That's where the people aspect comes in. Ferrets like this are treated as at risk and are weighed in on a weekly basis, coats are checked for filth and sores. Hopefully, you will get others who will help you with this topic. It really should be discussed as there are a number of people who have and do rescues. Out of all my ferrets, I've only had 2 possibly 3 that have suffered this horrible set back. Perhaps, this should also be placed in the health section.....sherrylynne???what do you think. I know that you will be in here eventually ciao
Post by carnivorouszoo on May 31, 2010 16:47:09 GMT -5
Thank you, I posted it here as I was unsure if it should be in health or not. Sounds like it should. By all means feel free to move it. Jack was a lot like that the first week. Ate nothing that wasn't on my finger tip, drank little until I changed them to a water dish, now he drinks as he goes by it to get to the food dish on the third level. I figured they needed motivation to move around and so far it has worked.
Sounds to me like you've got your little ones coming around. I think a lot of people aren't aware as to the damage they do when they purchase a furchild and then dump them when they become bored or feel that they're not a necessary part of their lives. I know...the line, they're just animals, they don't know anything. These little ones are terribly sensitive and mourn not only the loss of cagemates that are caused by these moves, but the loss of their inconsiderate humans too ciao
I have held one ferret while visiting the shelter that was suffering from depression. It was very heartbreaking. You know how when they are in a "dead ferret sleep" it can be unnerving because they are limp and lifeless? It's almost like that but the ferret isn't even asleep, just has lost all it's will. Playing is a distant memory. It's like their spirit is broken. Very serious and real, it is one of my fears that will happen if someone loses their bonded friend around here. I'm glad it seems like you are getting somewhere. There are some that can come around with a lot of human effort and others that are too far gone
Post by sherrylynne on Jun 1, 2010 16:58:51 GMT -5
Thanks for chiming in on this one, Heather. Like I said, I've never had to deal with this, nor even witnessed it. I knew it could be life threatening, but not the details. Tink, I'm thinking "broken spirit" sounds like the best description! And Heather- consider it moved AND stickied! You're right- this needs to be discussed, and not lost in the general movement of threads in the forum!
Post by novemberkris on Jun 1, 2010 17:53:26 GMT -5
I think its important to note that a ferret can go through a mild "depression" when they are left in the care of a ferret "sitter" or the like when on vacation and that the "sitter" should be aware of what to look out for.
The couple of times I've left Paulie for a week, he has done very well the first 3-4 days and then my friends/boyfriend has reported he starts to get "bummed" and sleeps more, doesn't eat properly, and doesn't drink as much. Its just like he's afraid I'm not coming home. Then I get back and he's back to his normal, chipper self. (of course, he's a lone ferret so his bond to me is probably more powerful).
My two "sitters" kept me in the loop and I made suggestions to keep him happy, but I admit it makes me nervous to go anywhere without him for more than a week. He'd much rather ride in the car for hours with me than for me to leave him for a week with one of his "buddies".
-Kristina Sanity saved by a silver mitt since January 2008.
Graduated from the HF Mentor Program March 3rd, 2009
That is very true. I've fert sat a couple of time. One little fellow, Gregor (he eventually became my Loki) had basically spent his whole life in shelters. The first time he came to stay, he'd only been out of a shelter about 4 or 5 months. Within hours of being dropped off (his people were going to be gone for 3 weeks) he had become withdrawn, curling up in a corner of one of the large cages, refusing food, water. If you held and snuggled him he would whimper. He truly thought that he had once again been dumped at another shelter. I used rescue remedy for a couple of days. His will was much stronger to live than to give up and die but this whole situation of ferret sitting makes one realize just how sensitive these little ones are to change. For those that do find themselves in a situation where their little charge is starting to withdraw into themselves, rescue remedy is a godsend and is a very effective remedy. ciao
I went through this with my guy when I adopted him in September. The day I brought him home he wouldn't touch food. I got the exact mix of kibble he was being fed (before he was switched to raw), he wouldn't touch it. I figured he needed a few days to settle in, but he continued to sleep and not play at all. He wouldn't eat at all, but did continue to drink. I worried about a blockage or an ulcer and even got the meeds for treating ulcers. He started eating warmed meat baby food and canned cat food out of a syringe with me, then fret a few days off of a spoon, and then finally started aging food out of a bowl on his own. I also feel that he started feeling better after the suggestion of Rescue Remedy in his water bowl. It seems around the time I added it he started perking up. Overall it took about two weeks until he started feeling better and playing. I noticed he went downhill again months later when I went away for a week, but he bounced back after two or three days of hand feeding and lots of cuddling. He seems to just be much more sensitive to changes then my other two. I can definitely see how fast a ferret can become deathly I'll if someone doesn't know to try to hand feed and make sure the ferret is getting enough fluids.
Post by tinytippytoes on Jan 8, 2011 21:23:10 GMT -5
Wow I know Im a new comer here and wasnt able to lurk or reply before because of comp. problems but I have to share a story of wee she ferbie I had 15 years ago. A friend at my job came to me said please take this ferret that her friend had or she was going to just let here loose in the back yard. She was moving and couldnt take her with her. Great owner that was. Any way I said yes I would take her. I didnt know about the shelter illness then. But I knew she was un happy. She wasnt totally depressed,but she had this look on her that made me want to carry her with me everywhere. She did eat but not like my other ferrets(she was always on the very thin side)...but still you knew something wrong. She didnt play like other ferrets or slept loads more. I dont think she ever got over losing her owner. So here Im looking at this post and wham... wow she was really depress. Poor little girl RIP Tara sweetums. I hope your ferbie goes on the mend. Saying a good vibe pray for Jack.