@poncesmom has more experience with difficult introductions than I do, she can give you better advice on that, her Roamy can be tough on the newbies.
I've been fortunate in that mine's brawls usually are over quickly and end with Caillou chasing the newcomer around until they give in and cuddle with him (giggle) he's the sweetheart alpha. I'm sure one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) Bear and Willy can be best friends. Sometimes it just takes time. You're doing great so far :thumbsup:
Trixie was put to sleep at 11:30am today. DIP Trixie.
She had been eating so well, devouring everything I have her. I feel like I missed something. She grieved so hard for Rocket... I missed it. We got home last night and she hadn't eaten anything. When I woke her to feed her, her breathing was labored and gurgling. Her eyes were squinty & glazed over.
We did round the clock care & her breathing got worse & worse. We took her to the ER vet (no ferret experience) this morning. It doesn't take ferret experience to point out pulmonary edema.
DIP Trixie. I'm sorry I let you down.
I am so sorry. It is so hard to loose a little one. Try to find comfort in knowing that she is with her Rocket now.
Please don't beat yourself up. You didn't let her down. It's part of the natural cycle of life and you were a wonderful ferrent to her. She knew she was Loved.
DIP sweet Trixie. Your family will always love and remember you in their hearts. Give Rocket a hug from your family and you two watch over them.
I'll happily give you some ideas. If you can post a video of them interacting, Heather is very good at readying ferret body language. Let's see what their play or interacting looks like.
If no one is peeing, pooping or drawing blood, then it's best to let them work it out.
Begin supervising some together time. Do this twice a day for a week or two. Sit on the floor with a blanket and let them come around.
Then put out a plate with a treat like egg or oil on it. Put Bear on one side and Willy on the other side. They will most likely ignore each other until the treat is gone. That's a start.
It took us two months with Mika, five weeks with Wynstan and now almost a year with Keller. She is deaf though and the others are willing to play with her, she is not willing to play with anyone but Mika. I still expect the day to come when she accepts them.
Where should I introduce them? I can clear out one side of the room, or I can do it in the living room... I'm always just worried in the living room they go under furniture and fight, and I can't get to them. Because Willy has drawn blood & Bear has fear defecated before.
That was my thinking in introductions. I didn't want them to get under something that I couldn't get them out of. With Roamy and Wynstan, They were equally matched and Wynstan is a big boy. However, he is a gentle giant. So we gave Wynstan about 3 weeks to get comfortable and secure in the house. I separated the upstairs from the downstairs and let Wynstan play with Juliet and Mika. We let Roamy see him everyday and Wynstan spent the first few nights in our cage. Roamy would walk around the cage muttering and then began pooping until he had a poop every few feet around the cage.
After three weeks, I began supervising close interactions. I took them into our bathroom and closed the door.
I filled the tub with blankets. Then I could supervise and keep Roamy from latching on and shaking Wynstan. Wynstan would go in and under the blankets.
While we sat there, I would offer some fish oil and they would both lick it off my hands at the same time.
I had a travel carrier in there with me and if Roamy grabbed Wynstan, I would say "NO BITE" in the same deep stern voice. Then he would go into the carrier for three minutes.
After 3 minutes, I brought him back out and put him in the tub with Wynstan. We did this for about 30 minutes or until Wynstan was just worn out and tired.
This took two weeks and then all was fine. We had a few nights where Wynstan got into bed with Juliet. Roamy would get into bed and find Wynstan with Juliet, then there would be a ruckus. I would get up and calm everyone down and they would go back to sleep.
Our senior ferrents do not care for this method. It does take longer my way, but I thought it was gentler and easier on Wynstan. Plus I could stop something before he was hurt or really frightened. He did poop and Roamy did scratch his neck pretty well.
Here is a picture of the first time Roamy accepted Wynstan:
With Mika, we simply waited until she was bigger. She came to us at 8 weeks. Juliet mothered her and I let Roamy see her every day. When she was over two months and bigger, we put a halloween pumpkin in the library, where they rarely go. Everyone was so excited about the pumpkin, Roamy forgot about Mika. She went up to him and gave him kisses and all was well.
Raw pumpkin is not recommended but I did not know that then.
So, that's how I did it. Now Keller is out and about, we are free roam. She is also deaf, so she squeals or screams. She may never want to play with the others, some ferrent prefer not to be around other ferrets. However, she has bonded to Mika and plays and sleeps with her. She allows Wynstan to be around her, as long as he doesn't try to touch her.
I did every method in the book with her. This time Juliet was also aggressive. I know I can get her to a place where she freely walks around with them, it's just a matter of time. Good Luck and try to get a video for us. It will reassure you to have someone like Heather tell you exactly where they are at. :wave3:
So I made an organ only (5oz of chicken hearts, 1.5oz liver, 1.5oz pork kidney) mix, which Bear gobbled up eagerly. I also made a chicken muscle meat, a chicken bone in, a beef muscle, and a beef "bone in" (eggshells). So I can kind of do a weekly menu. When I feed Willy I mix in some organs for him.
They can't eat too much heart, correct? They can eat too much liver (fat soluble, builds up, toxicity, etc).
I figured I'd give the old "throw 'em together & watch" a last try. At first they ignored each other, but then they locked eyes and all h*ll broke loose. Bear was LOUD, Willy never made a peep. I couldn't get a video this time around, the dogs went bananas & I had to keep stopping my husband from breaking it up.
They had started to wind down & separated on their own, but that's when we noticed Willy had a limp (ironically the same paw he bit on Bear). He puts some weight on it & doesn't resist having it palpated - I don't doubt its sore, but I'm going to give it a day or two before whisking him to the vet. Bear is without injury, and is actually trying to get Willy's attention through the bars. She looks pretty confident she is the boss.
I wish Willy hadn't limped, because I think if we'd let them go, it would be over now. Pecking order in place & we could move forward. They had never separated on their own before.
You're correct, they can't technically eat too much heart, it won't hurt them, it'll just give them runny poops if they get too much. With organs they can get vitamin A toxicity (and runny poops) if they get too much, but don't worry a whole lot about that, as they'd have to eat a LOT of liver for that to happen.
Poor Willy, Bear does seem like she wants the alpha position. If he will put pressure on it and doesn't get upset when you mess with it I wouldn't worry too much. If it is still bothering him in a day or two, you know the drill. Sorry it's been difficult with their introductions, I know it can be tough, hopefully soon they will work it out and be cuddling in no time. In the meantime, put Willy on bedrest, decrease his out of cage time a little and don't let him get too worked up, don't want him aggravating that paw.
Last Edit: Aug 10, 2015 17:58:06 GMT -5 by Deleted
It's a miracle, Willy's limp is gone! My husband swooped in & ended the scuffle (despite my gut telling me to just leave it) and coddled Willy. My husband went to work, and the limp vanished. I understand why he did, but at the same time if they wanted each other dead, they'd be dead. If they wanted to seriously maim, they'd maim each other. Ferrets are crazy strong, they are just trying to establish who is boss. I wish it was like dogs, 'cause I'm the boss I might try just once more in a few days, because them pulling away at their own accord was a huge development. I think they were so close to settling the score. I think Bear will end up being boss, she LOVES to play fight with me, she has so much sass. Willy is such a lover boy.
I just fed Willy and he ate a small chunk of meat (stringy fat piece) AND a bone. The crunching reminds me that we will get out of the soup stage one day. Bear ate a lot of organ mix & in the morning she will get bone in.
I think today went well, all in all. I look forward to when they cuddle together AND eat whole foods. I loved when my last business would all sleep in the hanging cube hammock together like a giant fuzzy knot
[/IMG] My husband swooped in & ended the scuffle (despite my gut telling me to just leave it) and coddled Willy. My husband went to work, and the limp vanished. [/quote]
Don't know if ferrets do this (have never heard stories but maybe they do it better and don't get caught).
My dog (when I was a kid, mostly teen years) was running round the oval in that top speed crazy way animals can and was not paying any attention to anything but running as fast as she could go. She slammed into one of the football goal posts with a really loud crack. She kept going and had looped back round by the time I got the words out "oh my god, Spot, are you OK". As soon as she heard my concern, up went the leg and she hobbled over to me. I gave her some appropriate sympathy (while trying not to laugh at her faking a limp) and said "you're ok now". She then continued on as though nothing had happened. Her leg was fine!
Just a thought.
Also I am so sorry to hear of Trixie's passing. May you find comfort in your memories of the times you shared (be they all too brief). You are in my thoughts
Willy will eat from my fingers. Willy will eat from the bowl while I'm sitting there. Willy will NOT eat if I leave down soup. In fact, he will go many hours without eating unless I a) sit back down with him or b) put his kibble back down. Having to hand feed him every few hours all day long is fine if I'm home all day. But if I have work or family obligations, it means he is eating kibble while I'm gone. I've tried different bowls, plates... Nothing.
Bear is eating just fine, and is taking well to the bone in grinds, which come in teenie chunks of meat & smashed up bone. She does the cutest head bob while she eats
Try a spoon with Willy, if he will eat off the spoon maybe if you leave the spoon in the bowl he will still eat... although I think Willy may be playing you a bit. I mean "hey if I wait long enough she is going to sit back down and baby me some or she will give me back my kibble." Yup I'm pretty sure that's what goes through his adorable smart little head.
I kind of wondered if I was getting played However, there are worse things than a ferret wanting more love & attention
Willy's limp is back. I called the vet & we have an appointment Friday. The vet wants to wait & see first. The vet thinks its a sprain, since Willy was using it Monday/Tuesday, if it was broken he wouldn't have been able to use it at all. He told me to give him a teenie tiny piece of baby aspirin. The vet & I are both stymied on how it even could be broken; Willy didn't fall, and there are no signs Bear bit his leg. Where they scuffled had no furniture, etc to bang/get stuck under.
I have him caged in a rabbit hutch; no hammocks, no levels, no climbing. Food & water right beside his blankie. My poor Willy. Ironically the paw he is limping on now, is the same paw he bit & punctured on Bear.
For Willy, when you are feeding him sitting in the floor, sit him beside you (don't hold him), but put your hand over or under his stomach to where you are touching him but not grasping. Then, start just petting him gently, if he stops eating, get the spoon and boop his nose with it. If he tries to run off, pull him back and do the same. Slowly pet him, like pet him once, wait a second or two, pet him again, make the petting more spaced out, until your eventually not touching him at all. Then, slowly scoot back a little when he eats, a little further from him, as far as he will let you go without running off or refusing to eat. Eventually, stand up, and try to walk off, don't go out of his sight at first. Keep trying, he'll get there. Mine did that too, and this fixed the problem.
And poor Willy, hopefully his paw is just sprained a little and nothing serious. Healing thoughts to him, try to keep him on bed rest until his Vet visit. Don't want him making anything worse. Healing thoughts and prayers for him
Last Edit: Aug 12, 2015 12:54:55 GMT -5 by Deleted
I think I'm getting played like a fiddle. Cunning little fert. I don't have to touch him at all to get him to eat the soup. If I set him down beside the bowl, and just stick my finger in the dish he will eat. I take my finger out, and will continue to eat... But when I leave he won't eat at all for hours. I sit back down, he eats... But if I leave kibble out, he is a little piggy. He doesn't get kibble at all if I'm home all day, I just pop in & feed him every couple hours. When I leave for work I feed him raw morning/night, and leave out kibble for the interim.
I wonder if he is just holding out for kibble. My shifts are really odd, I'm gone from 2:45pm - 8:30pm. Should I try not putting out kibble, leaving him raw soup? I'd make sure to feed him right before I go & make sure he eats when I get back... Maybe if I never give kibble, he will eventually catch on & eat the raw soup.
I hope it's nothing serious. My vet says there isn't a whole lot that can be done if the leg is broken or there is tendon damage. Painkillers & let it heal as is, and he will end up with a funny walk. :/