Here is my new ferret Gatsby. I adopted him about two months ago from a girl who was leaving for college and couldn't take care of him anymore. I think he looks like he has Waardenberg characteristics but I don't have a lot of knowledge about it. He does roll his head all around when you hold him like a baby, which I heard somewhere that deaf ferrets do. He doesnt have any gait issues but he does get a little more nippy when he gets too excited from playing, which is something I would like to fix.
Also- people who say their ferret has mental retardation- what signs have led you to conclude this?
Also I have been trying to find out if he is deaf or hard of hearing. I have tried making loud noises or turning on the vacuum, but usually my other two ferrets don't look either because they don't care. I only know that they aren't deaf because they come running when I shake their treat container. Is there a better way for me to test if he can hear? I am really starting to think he can't but sometimes I am not sure. Thanks for any help you can give!
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2013 16:45:35 GMT -5 by Deleted
His skull does look a bit broad to me, I'm not very good at seeing exact features, but I can sometimes tell just by the wholeness of the face. He does seem to have a "baby face" (don't know how else to describe it) that looks much like Javik's.
As for hearing tests, have you tried the squeaker toy test? Find him when he's distracted by something and stand behind him with a squeaking toy, give it a good squeak or two and watch for a reaction. It could be as slight as him turning his head for a moment or he might go full on attack the toy. You could also try whistling, rattling a bell toy, snapping your fingers behind his head, or clicking your tongue.
Hi and Welcome. I like your name dookdookdook. Gatsby is adorable. one of the more experienced ferrents will have to weigh in, I have no experience with wardys. there are quite a few threads about Waardenberg syndrome though, take a look thru those, some have pictures.
Oh yeah- that's a waardy baby And I'd be awfully surprised if he isn't also deaf with that blaze. Not that he'll ever notice the difference! WS runs the gamut from severe mental retardation all the way to extremely cunning and anything in between. All it means is that there is a neural crest problem causing his inner ear and/or brain not to form in the usual manner.
Ferrets: Contessa, Frankenfurter, Butterscotch. Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Mo-Mo is my mentally retarded ferret. He has trouble finding my finger when it is right in front of his face. He has a gait problem and odd head movements(made worse by the ear infection destroying equilibrium!!)He also has trouble learning tricks.(He stopped trying to do them completely after his ear infection.) Mo-Mo had lots of trust issues and wouldn't let us hold him for more than a moment for the first 2 months. We have slowly taught him that we are trustworthy and cuddles are something to be enjoyed. I can hold him for at least 10 minutes at a time now. Cuddles? We are still working on those, but it gets better every day.
Miss Lady is also a waardy, but she is clever as all get out! She has a bit of a funny gait, but she doesn't let that, or her deafness, slow her down. She gets tricks after a few tries. She gets so excited when I ask her to stand up that she pops up and loses her balance, causing her to fall over! She will climb on things instead of just putting her front paws on the object if I am not fast enough with the treats! She is so aware of her surroundings that it is hard to sneak up on her, even though she can't hear! She also makes inappropriate noises when her and one of the boys are playing. She will scream like she is being ripped joint from joint, hiss, squeal, and bark, all while she is showing the boys who is boss. (she is winning the scuffle and making these noises.) She screams so loud, all of our surrounding neighbours have come over at some point to ask if we are killing her! (We live in an apartment.)
Pig, our "normal" monster, doesn't make a lot of noises, but at least they are appropriate. He is smart as a whip and you can see him thinking while looking at something, or figuring out how to get you to give him the treat.