Hello there i am new to this forum(it's really an interesting forum),i have a male ferret almost 4 years old and he has inflamatory bowel disease,we are inclined to believe with my vet that food allergy has caused this problem(he was on a raw chicken and beef diet)So he is currently on low dose of prednisolone to help with the inflammation and he is also on a new Diet(Hill's Z/D,he is not a fan of it)i have seen big improvement on his energy levels and on his mood but i haven't seen improvement on his stools,they are stil seedy,i am thinking of using dog and cat probiotics,do you think that probiotics will help him?they say they help in some situations,do you think that i need to ask my vet?(he is not a holistic vet and he will not be a fan of pobiotics...)What do you think?i need something to help with the digestion and i have seen some good brands of probiotics.Oh i also wanted to use digetive enzymes but the beneficial enzymes are from pancreas source and as i mentioned before my ferret has allergies with chicken and most of the pancreatic enzymes are poultry source,do you think that enzymes from plant source will help him?( i have also ordered slippey elm,and i am thinking in some weeks to change his diet into a novel protein diet like rabbit,but at this moment i have seen improvement with hills zd so i don't wanna stress his body with changing diets all the time,what do you think?) Thank you for your time.!share your experience with your ibd fuzzies.!thank you!
Well you came to the right place with questions regarding the herbs you mentioned. I don't know much about these things myself, but I wanted to chime in for one reason - the Hills z/d. I will try to keep this short, and I'm not saying this to scare you as the z/d may not have been the culprit, but anytime I hear a ferrent mention that they feed a Hills or Royal Canin product I feel I must mention my situation.
I've had a fert who has been sick with something unknown since he was about 1yo (he is not almost 4). Two Septembers ago he had gotten REALLY REALLY sick and his health started to decline. Without going into the many reasons why we changed his diet, suffice to say my vet decided that Bandit may have chicken allergies, so he wanted to change his (and thusly all his brothers) diet. We had had them on Zupreem and Evo Ferret, but my vet prescribed Hills Prescription Diet d/d Venison. My boys loved this kibble, that is until the kibble changed - it changed color, texture, smell, and I'm assuming taste. My boys refused to eat the newly changed kibble. So then my vet put my boys on Hills z/d. Much like your boy my boys did not like this kibble, but they stayed on it for a couple of months. Because they wouldn't eat enough, and Bandit's problems weren't really eleviated by the z/d our vet then put them on Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Rabbit. A few months into this kibble one of my boys became very sick very quickly and couldn't urinate. We rushed him to the ER and found that he had literally hundreds of bladder stones and hundreds of stones and crystals in his urethra. He also had many stones in his kidneys. We tried a PU (creating a new urethra) but ultimately the stones in his kidneys were too big to pass thru his ureter and one of the burst. We had to put Gir to sleep. THis took 2 days. The ER vet had consulted multiple ferret knowledgable vets and they all agreed that they had never seen anything like this before in any animal, much less a small creature like a ferret. They decided it must have been some very rare genetic defect. Six weeks later my Emmett began straining and crying while trying to potty. We rushed him to the ER and found that he too had hundreds of bladder and urethra stones, and some large kidney stones. We opted not to do the PU this time (as it caused much uneeded pain for Gir) and we knew we have no choice but to also put Emmett to sleep. He was gone 6 hours after onset of symptoms. At this point my ER doc and my vet spoke and they along with myself determined that the stones were not caused by a rare genetic defect, but instead by something in their environment. We ruled out many things from the water to poisons, and eventually realized it had to be their kibble. At this point my vet did some research and discovered that Hills and Royal Canin kibbles have been found to cause an unacceptable level of stones in cats (as they are cat food brands), yet no one bothered to consider the problem these same stones would cause in something as small as a ferret so no one thought to keep these kibbles out of a ferrets diet. It is thought that it is the green pea starch in these kibbles that is the culprit. I am still doing research on this, but I plan to eventually create a scene about this if nothing is done.
Also, after Emmett died I had my other 2 boys xrays and found that one of them ALSO had the same bladder stones. Luckily he didn't have too many and I quickly began a switch to a raw diet. Within a months time on raw Bandit's stones disappeared. Whether they desentegrated or were passed is unknown, but they are thankfully gone. This also helps to prove my theory that the kibble caused the stones.
Again, I don't mean to frighten you and I tried to make this as short as possible, but I wanted you to understand my position and how I came about my conclusions concerning Hills and Royal Canin products (and really any kibble that contains green pea starch). After what happened to my two babies I feel the need to spread the word about what happened to them so that maybe their deaths won't have been in vain, and maybe other ferrets will be saved the same consequences.
Now, I can't remember if the z/d had any green pea starch in it, but either way I would still avoid all Hills and Royal Canin products if it were my babies.
Just my two cents. Good luck with your herbs, I really do hope they help!
Actually, pancreatic enzymes will be more helpful for seedy stool than probiotics. I don't know what brand of pancreatic enzymes you're looking at, but what is usually available in my area has pancreatin and is porcine-based (pigs - not poultry).
You'll want to look at the ingredients on the label to ensure there is no lactose in the enzyme....I've actually seen this before .
Plant-based enzymes also work, but they are not as effective as the pancreatin. For plant based, fungal based (very difficult to find) are stronger than the papain (papaya-based) and the bromelain (pineapple-based). Papaya is the mildest.
One of the key things to the use of enzymes is to put them on the food (mix them in as best as possible) at least a half hour before feeding. The enzymes help to start breaking down the food. I recommend preparing the morning meal with enzymes the night before . Let it sit, tightly covered in the fridge, over night. feed it in the morning. In the morning, prepare the evening meal and allow it to sit in the fridge, and so on.
Probiotics can be used in conjunction with the pancreatic enzyme. While they can be effective, they do not have as much effect as the enzyme. A lot of the probios that are available on the market get destroyed by stomach acids and/or get moved through the system before they can colonize the gut lining. If you try probios, the acid-resistant varieties work best.
One thing to remember about slippery elm bark is that it coats the entire digestive tract, so it does impact the ability to absorb nutrients. For this reason, I recommend using the slippery elm bark during periods of inflammation only. Then elm bark can be used to help the probios take hold because the elm bark syrup creates a mucus-like lining in which helps to the probios stick around and colonize rather than being swept away.
The hills Z/D is typically very effective at helping with IBD. One thing I dislike about the Z/D is that cornstarch is the third ingredient on the list. Corn starch is a complex carb., however it does break down quickly, which causes spikes in blood sugar levels. This is difficult on the pancreas, as I'm sure you already know.
The other thing that concerns me about Z/D is that the hydrolyzed proteins are relatively new - some holistic doctors/vets feel that there may be a slight unknown risk with eating mainly hydrolyzed proteins over an extended period of time. As such, I agree that your plan to introduce new food sources is a great idea.
hmmmmm.....I was assuming that the canned z/d (feline) would be fed.....It looks like the FIRST ingredient in the Z/D kibble is brewer's rice. I didn't see any pea protein listed in the cat Z/D...(peas are very high in sulfur, which can cause stones in some people/animals.)
ANyway, you'll want to switch your ferret over to at least 3 different protein sources. This will help to guard against the development of new allergies.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Thank you all so much for your answers!i wanted to say that Feline Z/D hypoallergenic diet is the only diet that i have seen improvement on my ferret.when his diet was chicken my ferret was sleeping 23 hours a day and with beef 22 it wasn't much of improvement, i have also tried pork but i havent seen improvement either.Feline ZD doesn't contain green peas royal canine does.In one month i'm gonna change his diet into raw rabbit and maybe lamp(he is not a fan of lamp).the first engredients of feline zd are brewer's rice,hydrolized chicken liver and hydrolized chicken,soybean oil.You know i am more the holistic type ferret owner and i didnt want to even try feline ZD but when i tried it this when i saw improvement.Oh i forgot to mention that my ferret since h got this problem he is peeing a lot,much more than he used to and i don't think that this can be adrenal disease cause he doesn' t have hair loss or aggressive behavior,stinky smell of excessive itchiness.can this be from IBD?i have also done a blood test and nothing seemed to worry my vet he said that everything is alright.
We all understand all too well about using things we prefer to avoid. Prednisolone is a perfect example...there are times when it's the only thing that works, and you're faced with choosing the lesser of 2 evils.
With IBD, it seems best to stabilize as quickly as possible and then move on to finding a long term solution you're happy with. SO, there are times when something that's not optimal is the best choice.
The longer an IBD flare lasts, the harder it can be to suppress. Quite a few ferrets have been on the z/d with IBD - in fact it was listed (and is probably still be listed) in a paper on the AFA web site. It's like eating that junk food.....it's not going to kill you if you do it here and there, but it's best if you don't eat it all the time.
I've been reading more about food allergies/sensitivites. I need to post some thoughts on what I have read and relocate some of this info as reference material. hope to do this over this weekend (gotta run right now)
Start working toward introduction of the new proteins...we hope you stick around on this site so we can all learn from each other. We'll be interested in your progress.
another thing.... my holistic vet has this fabulous, custom formula for ferts that REALLY helps with IBD - He probably starts with a basic blend and tweak it thereafter depending upon results. You'll need to get phone consultation with him and probably email him some of your vet records, but this stuff is really good. Since your fert seems to be really sensitive, you may want to consider it.
I don't know what my vet charges for a first time phone consultation, but I've had really good results with this vet, and those who have used the "magic poop potion" (it's a powder) for their ferret's IBD have seen good results.
You can go to www.wellvet.com to check out my holistic vet. I really like him A LOT.
If you call for an appointment, you'll need to tell them you're looking for holistic care for your ferret that has IBD. If you tell them you're looking for a ferret vet, they'll think you're looking for traditional ferret care, adrenal surgeries, etc. They will tell you they do not see ferrets because most people are looking for a full-blown traditional ferret vet.
hmmm i forgot to mention that i am temporary residing in Europe,Greece, i am going to move in the states in a few months.what product are you saying that i should look in this link that you sent me.Also i wanted to say that i have found a probiotic for ca and dogs from Mercola.com that i belive it's one of the best probiotics in the market cause it contains 14 different species o probiotics. probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html what do you think? i have also looked digestive enzymes by mercola.com and they are pork-based(less chances of having allergy in that product) I wanna hear you opinion thank you for your time.
Ohhhhhh....I'm envious...I've always wanted to see Greece - love the food, love the ancient arts, the dances and the music.....I grew up near a Greek community in Florida where they would dive for the cross every year. I had a lot of wonderful Greek friends. I'll have to suck down a big shot of ouzo (the GOOD stuff) for you!!! (a Greek version of the weasel war dance!!!! )
anyway..........let's see here....
Regarding the probiotic, it does look like a good one. Regarding "best", well there is not "best" one for everyone because it's all individual. Some have had better results on priobitics that are single strain probios that are non-native to the system...go figure....
My vet's "magic poop potion" truly is a custom blend of his probiotics "healthy flora" and a bunch of other stuff. The ingredients he uses for MY ferret include: Ultra Clear sustain, Bentonite (clay), Medibulk, Digest powder, Oxygenics, Ultrianflamix, Healthy FLora, GLutamine, GI Revive
I will tell you that I've had really good luck with my vet's stuff. I compared his probiotic formula "Healthy flora" with the mercola product - they're both very simliar. It's impossible to tell how potent one is over the other - "one serving" of the merrcola product is a "scoop"....which is impossible to compare to anything.......it could be an entire teaspoon. In any event, I suspect it's a good product.
I looked at the enzymes as well ----This was the pet enzyme that had both the plant- and animal-based enzymes - looks good as long as the pancreatin is not chicken-based. I could not find anything about the source for the pancreatin. If you found the ingredients elsewhere, and there is no chicken, then you're good to go with these products!
I recommend starting with a tiny bit of the pancreatic enzyme first. increase slowly over time until full dose is reached. use this for a couple of weeks before introducing the probios. The full "ferret dose" on these products would be 1/2 the recommended dose for a cat.
I'm expecting and hoping you see some good results!
Oh my goodness!Really?i thought that Greece wasn't even popular as a country,i know that ancient greeks are popular as an ancient culture,but i didn't know that we are popular now(especially with the economic resession,one of the reasons i am moving in new york in a few months,i know ferets are illegal in new york city that's why i am going to live outside of the 5 boroughs(in long island))I am going to have some trouble in the airport for that reason i am going to new jersey state and then in new york with my ferret.anyway,i think i'm going to order the probiotics and the dygestive anzymes but i called them and i asked them if i can use them for my ferret but they said that their products are not tested on ferrets,so it's up to me,i am thinking since cats and ferrets are almost the same,i won't have a problem using that product to my ferret....what is your standpoint jennifer?
This place looks like Greece!!of course i am going to visit Florida someday,i just have to some things in new york first(find appartment,job,college)anyway,imma order the probiotics and dygestive enzymes,do you think that i should ask my vet first?he is not a holistic vet and i don't know what he will tell me about the probios,i don't wanna risk anything do you think he will have a problem with the probios?(i am gonna use the dygestive enzymes later)
Sure, discuss this with your vet. Most traditional vets understand the philosophy behind the probiotics. Many prescribe them. SOme vets feel you waste money on them because they feel these treatments are ineffective because they may "go right through the system", or the acids may kill off most of the beneficial bacteria because carnivores have strong stomach acid, etc.
I seriously doubt you vet will be concerned. It's always best to let the vet know what you're doing. SOme vets will give clients a hard time about raw feeding. But I have never heard a vet object to probios and/or enzymes.
Ok,i will ask him.Basically,yesterday and today he seems to be a bit "not in the mood" ,he is sleeping a bit more and i don't what's going,i am reaaallyy going craazy!!i don't know what to do to find a treatment that is 100% effective,i don't know for sure right now if he has something serious,but he seems to be in a bad mood.i don't we will see....i can't take it anymore with this freaking disease.and i am afraid that in the near future he will also have adrenal disease (because he is neutered)i neutered my ferret when he was 8 months old and i didn't know then that neutering leads to adrenal disease and i was feeling guilty, i still feell.and now i have this(IBD),i was always trying to provide him with everything (raw diet,walks,excercise,toys)and know he is only 3years old and 9 months.We have trouble to find a cure for this 2 months now and he has ibd 4-5 months now,in the beggining i thought that it was the climate change and i didn't do anything,then i saw him sleeping extremely and having seedy/mucous poops and then i went to the vet.i don't know i am just really stressed with everything right now if i knew it i wouldn't have neutered him.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2013 14:08:39 GMT -5 by Deleted