Zeus' poop is not runny anymore. It is lighter colour brown than usual though.
I got some canned pumpkin at the grocery store last night. I will give them some tonight. Can the pumpkin be frozen? There was only one size of can and its pretty big since we just have to give them 1tsp total each day. I think it might go bad in the fridge before they finish the can.
Yesterday throughout the day, the ferrets ate 11 ice cubes . From this, I am guessing that Cyrus at at least 2 - 3 cubes. We put out fresh food 5 times and 4 of those times we put her beside the food and she started eating. The one time she was sleeping so we can't say for sure that she got any of that one. Zeus seems to be eating a lot. He is always the one finishing the bowl off. He loves it so much and is eating way more of it than he ever ate kibble. Is there a limit on how many ice cubes we should be giving them a day?
The stool will be a different color than it was on kibble so no worries there.
The pumpkin can definitely be frozen. It doesn't always freeze nicely and sometimes thaws funny but it can be done for sure. You might want to freeze it in ice cubes too.
They can eat as much soup as they want per day ferrets self regulate on raw food so they will eat what they need and not more.
Now that they are eating more soup per day, I'll get you to decrease the kibble at night. Even if the kibble all gets eaten at night, and they go a few hours without food, that's okay, they will eat more soup that way.
Last night I put out a plate with kibble on is so I could tell if the ferrets were eating the kibble at night. Last night they didn't each much at all (if any). They did have a big batch of soup just before bed though! Cyrus was going to start eating it this morning but I took it away and replaced it with the soup so she ate that instead.
Are egg shells that have been boiled (for example - for hard boiled eggs) OK for them too? I didn't know if the boiling would make the egg shell lose calcium or something
I think they are ready to try have the kibble removed all together
Why don't you try offering soup both during the day and overnight either tonight or tomorrow night (depending on when you read this reply) and Let me know how that goes.
You are going to want to leave enough soup out overnight that there is just a little bit left over in the morning. It may take a bit of trial as error to figure out this amount. What you can also do is put some defrosted soup and a couple of still frozen ice cubes out overnight. That way the ice cubes will melt somewhere in the middle of the night to give them a fresh batch.
Let me know how that goes when you try it! And how many cubes they eat that day and that night.
I will just have to double check on the egg shell and will get back to you
I am just reading your message this morning so I will be leaving the soup out all night. I am starting to think that it might be easier to just put each batch of soup in the fridge rather than freeze it since they go through a batch so quickly. It is easier for us just to pour some into their bowl rather than having to wait for it to defrost every time (especially for me in the mornings!). From now on I will probably let you know how much food they eat in cups rather than ice cubes. I may still freeze a few cubes so that I can leave some out for them overnight like you suggested though.
I will let you know how it goes tomorrow morning!
Thanks for checking about the egg shell. I was just wondering because my dad made hard boiled eggs the other day but I didn't know if they shells would be OK for the ferrets.
And soup will definitely stay fresh in the fridge for a few days, so that's a good plan if you are going through it that quick now. Which is normal, ferrets eat a TON during the switch, but this will taper down once they have been on raw for a while.
The ferrets don't seem to like the pumpkin that I have been trying to feed them. I even tried putting some oil on it but they try it but won't come back for it. Is it alright to add pumpkin to their soup when I make it? If so, how much would you recommend I put in each batch that I make?
Absolutely, soup is a great way to sneak it in. Though you will want to work on getting them to accept the taste too, as with whole meats, it will be harder to mix. Plus in a blockage emergency, you really need them to eat it on their own.
But in the mean time, put 1/2 tsp per ferret per day in the soup. So if a batch generally lasts you three day, put 3 tsps in it.
Then once a day offer them some pumpkin on your finger doused in oil. And just rub it on the gums, kind of the same technique as when you got them to try the soup. Eventually, they will hopefully accept it.
Ok I will start blending it into their soup. Hopefully they won't notice!
Last night I put soup out for them rather than kibble. In the morning there was just a tiny bit left. I guess I had good judgement! Yesterday during the day they ate 8 cubes and about 1/2 cup of the new soup that I made them and will be keeping in the fridge. That soup didn't include the pumpkin though. Last night I left them out about 1/2 cup of soup.
This morning I see some REALLY runny light brown liquid on some of the newspapers that we put out around their litter boxes (for "accidents"). I am not sure if this is really runny poop or vomit and I don't know which of them did it either. I will try to keep an eye out. Both of them are eating the fresh soup I put out this morning though.
Actually I just went and looked at it again. I am pretty sure it is vomit. It is about the same colour as their soup and also it was probably Zeus. He seems depressed/bored (flatting a lot and cuddling up in odd places) today but Cyrus is running around like usual. Zues has done stuff like this before where he vomits once and then everything is OK again but it doesn't happen very often.
Definitely keep an eye on Zeus. Is there anything he could have gotten into?
Watch to make sure he poops and I would give him some pumpkin soup (mix a little extra pumpkin in if you can) and a little bit of tonic lax or Vaseline and then watch him closely. Vomiting and lethargy can be a sign of a blockage ( foreign object or hair ball). It could also be a stomach bug, the flu or Something else random. but the pumpkin and lax/Vaseline will help push anything through hopefully.
Since they ate the soup, just keep giving them soup full time now. No more kibble is needed . Watch cyrus closely though and make sure she is eating enough.
But if you notice he gets worse, vomits again, isn't pooping, pawing at the mouth, grinding his teeth, running in and out of litter boxes frantically without pooping or any other alarming symptoms, he will definitely need to see a vet.
After I messaged you yesterday, Zeus didn't vomit any more. He seems to be fine today. Maybe a little less playful than normal but he did play for a bit today. He has been pooping though. I don't think there is anything that he could have gotten into. Usually when the get into stuff they shouldn't they leave a mess but there wasn't anything unusual. Zeus has a lump inside him that the vet can't figure out what it is. He has had the lump since the first time we took him to the vet so we are always worried about him when he vomits or gets anti-social.
He hasn't ate much soup today. I am not sure if it is because of the pumpkin in it or not. I won't put any in over night. (Update - I put some new soup out for the night, without pumpkin, and he did eat his usual amount)
Name: Zeus What they've been eating and how much per day: 5-6 ice cubes Activity level: low activity level, seems to be sleeping more this week that we have been seeing lately. Stool shape and consistency: runny and light brown Weight: .92 kg Picture:
Name: Cyrus What they've been eating and how much per day:about 3 ice cubes per day Activity level: very active like always! Stool shape and consistency: light brown, medium consistancy (not really runny, not really solid.. kinda "mushy" looking ha) Weight: .74 kg Picture:
Just an update.. Cyrus seems to be doing OK. Zeus has been sleeping more than usual I think. He doesn't seem to want to play but he has gone through "stages" like this before. We will keep trying. Cyrus ate some pumpkin when I put it in the soup but Zeus won't eat any soup when it is in there. I am finding that both of them don't seem to eat "old" soup. If it's not gone within the first couple hours it's out, they usually won't eat anymore unless I replace it with fresh food. I am thinking that this might be a problem in the future if Justin and I are out for a while and can't replace their food as often.
PS I guess I can't modify my last post after I post this one. Cyrus' weight is supposed to be .74 kg, not .84 kg. Sorry!
Thanks for the updates. Since they are being picky about the pumpkin, what I'll have you do in the future is not mix the pumpkin into the soup batch. Instead, just sneak a little bit into one soup meal a day. Start off small and work your way up. That way of Zeus doesn't eat that one soup meal, he will at least eat the later pumpkin free ones.
Soup does go off a lot quicker than whole meats so yes you will find yourself doing more frequent meals with it. Once they are on chunks of meat and bone, you will only need to do two meals a day and being out for long periods of time won't be a concern.
That being said, let's start working towards that now that they are consistently eating soup. What I will have you do from now on is chop up raw chicken meat into tiny little slivers, about the size of a crescent of a finger nail (the darker white part on the top of your fingernail that is a moon crescent shape) and put those pieces into their soup meals.
As for Zeus... Where is this lump located? You might want to post a thread about him in the medical section of this forum. Is your vet very ferret knowledgeable? Some aren't. But depending on where the lump is it could be an enlarged spleen, or a tumor. And could explain his behavior. I don't have a lot of experience with ferret health issue and my 5 ferrets are my first and haven't run Into any major ones yet, but other members on this forum may be able to give you insight. It sounds like whatever it is, it might be getting worse with the decreased energy levels. Raw food usually gives them TONS of energy when they first switch to it... So I think a vet visit might be in order. Perhaps a different vet for a second opinion.
I added a bit of pumpkin in one dish of soup yesterday. At first, Zeus sniffed it and walked away but I got him back and got him to start licking the soup off my finger. Eventually, he started licking from the bowl and even licked where the pumpkin was. I think he must have gotten a chunk of pumpkin because he ran away looking like he hated the taste in his mouth and that he wouldn't eat anymore. I ended up just having to feed him for a while off my finger but he wouldn't eat out of the bowl again. He did eat some pumpkin (covered in soup) off my finger though. I think this is a good step forward
I will start adding little slivers of chicken to their food tonight.
The lump in Zeus is located at one side, underneath his belly area kinda (I believe). I can't say that this is 100% true but I know it is in that general area. Our regular vet is the "rodent" vet where we go. He looks after the bunnies, ferrets, guinnie pigs, etc. He isn't a ferret specialist or anything but he seems to be alright. We have also taken Zeus to another vet (an emergency vet) that seemed to be more knowledgeable about ferrets and he could feel it too, but couldn't say exactly what it was. We have also had an ex-ray done on him but that didn't reveal what it was either.
We have been thinking that maybe Zeus is acting like this because we just recently (a couple days ago) took away the ferrets' cage area. They used to have a big closet for their cage area. The closet would always be open so they could come and go as they please, but this is where their food used to be and one of their litter boxes that they often used. They slept in their once in a while, but usually not. Since their food is no longer kept in there (since going raw), it was pretty much just a place for their litter box so we took it away and can use it for storage again (yay!). Do you think that this is something that could make Zeus depressed? He seems like an emotional ferret. When we first got Cyrus he was depressed for several months (we did a lot of research about it and found that new ferrets can sometimes cause depression in the "old" ferret). During that time he actually acted a lot like he has been in the last little while - not social and slept a lot.
Good news though - This morning before I left Zeus and Cyrus were very playful. They were running around like crazy and wrestling with each other, which they love to do. Maybe Zeus is out of his funk! I will keep watching him
Yes, ferrets are very emotional animals and can absolutely get depressed. And any sort of environmental change could for sure cause it.
I highly recommend picking up something called Bach's Rescue Remedy. You can find it at any health food store or sometimes in the organic aisle of regular grocery stores. If you can get the kids or pets version ( both are alcohol free ) this is Better but if not the regular version (with alcohol) is fine too, that's the only one I can find.
What you do is put a couple drops in their water, a couple times a day. You can also put some in their mouths (if they'll take it - my one ferret loves the taste) or rub it on their ears for when they seem super stressed out or depressed. It's basically a herbal supplement using Bach flowers and fights anxiety, depression and stress. Everyone here on the forum uses it for their ferrets and it works wonders. It's great for people too to take the edge off
It may be what he needs to get him out of his funk.