Trust me, you're doing amazing. Great work on that blockage protocol!! Mei Mei Meeeei- What a cheeky girl she is. How is she going now?
We've all been there with the freaking out. It proves that you would like to do everything you possibly can for your ferrets and that's an amazing thing. Some people will find transition hard or lengthy, some will even give up because they feel their ferrets are just not getting anywhere, but I believe any ferret can do it as long as their owner is committed and willing to stick through it. Usually young ferrets will be more willing with new food, but every ferret regardless of age is an individual. They can go at their own pace and you can push here and there, but they'll get there in their own time.
Unfortunately my week hasn't been too great, but I'm hanging in there. Thank you very much for that adorable photo. I really feel so much better seeing some cute ferret photos. (They're like an instant mood recharge haha!!)
Give some big hugs to Mei and Max for me. Good luck with the chicken wing. You're also welcome to chop it up if you wish, or even drizzle some of the soup on them.
1. Ferret's name: Mei 2. Ferret's weight: 1.8Ibs 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal: Around 3 tablespoons still 4. Stools on various proteins: Stools are good, firm most of the time 5. Activity levels: Higher than normal 6. Weekly menu: Beef soup for most meals with an attempt at a chicken wing every couple of days
1. Ferret's name: Max 2. Ferret's weight: 2 1/2Ibs 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal: Still working on it 4. Stools on various proteins: Stools are good, firm most of the time 5. Activity levels: Normal - High 6. Weekly menu: Beef soup for most meals with an attempt at a chicken wing every couple of days
She's just fine, the protocol stopped the coughing and she perked up right after. If she'd stop eating everything I could decorate their cage but I guess cloth is just too tasty for her to resist. * They appreciated the hugs (Max loves getting snuggled when he's sleepy). I really need to get an updated pic of little man, he's becoming a little chunk. I'm assuming they're bulking up for winter? Both are shedding and Max is starting to look fluffy and gelatinous.
Sorry for the late reply! I've been a bit slow going this week. Max is improving and I think I may actually be making some progress with him. I managed to get him to try the Vaseline and olive oil when I was working with Mei and apparently he REALLY likes it. Like, he tried to eat the whole spoon in one gulp so I had to take it away from him haha. I'm hoping this means he'll be more open to new experiences now that he isn't sick anymore and I'll finally be kibble free soon. I feel like this is going incredibly slow but getting them on a good diet is too important for me to get frustrated with them. My parents are coming into town this weekend as well so I hope they enjoy seeing the fuzzbutts again. Maybe this time Mei won't try to eat my mom's shoes.
I love it when the boys prepare for winter. I don't know what it is, maybe the boys because they tend to be larger, look and feel more snuggly during the winter times. They are cuddly little dumplings. >3<
Regardless of how long a transition takes, you're doing fantastic and slow and steady is better than rushing it and then something going wrong. You'll get there, don't worry. I feel like if you continue with how you are, you may have two ferrets off kibble in a matter of weeks! That is incredibly great work! Always be happy and proud of your progress~
I did a talk today in class on ferrets, I even brought in two with me. It turned out quite well. I also realise how much ferrets have a bad name. "Ferrets smell, ferrets bite, ferrets are rodents, ferrets are this or that" It's kind of sad really, how so many people are not knowledgable on these amazing creatures. I tried to go into topic on nutrition as well, I was kind of expecting people to be like "What, Wow? You feed that?" I had a few reactions, but a majority of my class just wasn't as enthusiastic as I was. I wish people would be more open to proper nutrition, especially to Wholeprey. (Some people were a little disturbed, but people need to understand that this is the ultimate diet for any carnivore, even if they don't feed it. ) In future, I would like to do more public talks on ferret nutrition- although I have anxiety and would probably go red in the face with embarrassment- I still would like to help to push towards educating others on this truly wonderful natural diet.
I hope your parents enjoy Mei and Max. Such a fun duo~ I'm certain they will have a ball!
So Max has a new defense mechanism to avoid eating the soup. When I try to get him to taste it he "falls asleep" in my lap but I know he isn't asleep cause the moment I take the soup away he tries to run off to play he's so cute it kills me. Mei threw a tantrum when I left the soup in their cage instead of kibble and started tearing up their beds and blankets (headwall) Would putting her in the sin bin help with that? I REALLY don't need her to be a drama queen while I'm away at class one day and end up on an emergency vet run because of it, but I have no idea how to punish her in this situation. Getting her to stop biting me was easy but getting her to stop eating her bedding is turning out a bit complicated.
Story time: My mom actually bought Max while we were in town one weekend because I didn't want to get another ferret from the cramped store I got Mei from (her health and behavior were both terrible. It took weeks for me to teach her how to play before she finally started wrestling instead of running off) so we got Max from Petco. I really wanted a shelter ferret but the nearest one is a loooong drive away. Anyway, my mother thought he stunk and really didn't like him for maybe...one afternoon. Then when we went to head back home she kept threatening to keep him and walked around with him sleeping on her arm like a baby. She hasn't seen him since he got big so she's pretty excited!
I'd kind of expected my parents to be disgusted by the raw meat diet. I guess since my mother grew up in the country she really didn't care. She just told me to do what I think is right for my pets and she'd help as needed. My dad tried to talk me out of it but I think he gave up eventually. He did the same thing when I bought Mei and begged me to get a cat instead. They're both cool enough with it that they're bringing me fresh chicken hearts since the power went out and rotted my reserve >_< I can't find chicken hearts here so any opportunity to get someone to bring a big batch with them up here I try to take advantage of. So far my only shortage was the rotting incident. I told a friend of mine I got ferrets and she openly admitted they disgusted her and she didn't want to meet them. Her loss, they're balls of chaotic fun. It's sad how stigmatized they are. I showed pictures of them to some of my classmates and they kept asking me if she gave me the scars on my hand, which are from my dog. If Mei could open her mouth that wide she really would be catsnake. I wish they were more understood, especially since I've met some really badly neglected ferrets that were mean as can be. If I'd known what I do now I would have demanded my aunt give them to me, but my mother convinced me ferrets are naturally nasty and mean. It wasn't until I watched Aavak's ferretcam videos that I got interested in the sweet, docile little furrbutts I saw. Now I have two that are sweeter than molasses and make just as big a mess. Adorable criminals.
Were you in a veterinary class for your presentation? It's weird to think veterinary students wouldn't be interested in facts about an animals they may encounter. I totally get the embarrassment thing...I do really well on scripts and did theater for a while but I always freeze up when doing my own stuff. I like crowds when I'm being someone else but I myself hate crowds every other time.
Mei and Max are such characters. I wish I could use the "fall asleep" defense mechanism against my current homework hahahaa!! Doesn't work for us humans though. ;n; The tantrums are quite normal IMO. The sin bin is best left as a last resort and probably won't work much for it. With tantrums it is best to leave them. Cover their cage or turn off the light/close blinds and leave them alone until they calm down. They do this to get your attention. Ferrets are smart little creatures and figure out how to manipulate their owners. If you're worried about any injuries, you can take down levels and take out all the bedding apart from a single hammock if you wish (kind of like how you would do litter boot camp.) I used to fall for the tantrums when Yuuki was 6 months. He grew out of it after I didn't give in. What you can do is leave them alone, go out of the room and don't pay any attention to them. Come back later and rewards them for the good behaviour with many verbal praises or some salmon oil if you have it and they like it. It would also be a good idea to let them out to play after they calm down.
It's wonderful that your parents support the natural diet. My parents are quite similar actually. Mine didn't really care, because they know I'll do the best for my ferrets. It's a wonderful feeling and having that trust and extra support is great. Not everyone has these kinds of support, so luck us. I also love the story about Max. Your mum must be super excited to see him~ He's bigger and more cuddlier! (Watch out! She might try take him a second time! jk!!)
It's quite sad, ferrets are given such a bad name. Many people don't really understand them. They are alot of work, and they are so much fun and are quite rewarding. Any animal however is capable of biting or creating scars. I fall over and get scars. I actually have a few scars from scratch marks from the ferrets or my cockatiels. No harm or pain came from those though. Just because there's a scar, doesn't automatically mean the scar is a bad thing.
I'm studying to become Veterinary Nurse, so the presentation was in one of our Feed and Water classes. The presentation / speech wasn't really planned out. It was more of a free talk. Teacher and other classmates ask me questions and I answer or talk about them. I found it a little challenging, but it made me realise how much I actually already do know without having to google or look up something. I also got really distracted by the ferrets- Amy found a piece of kibble in the class room made me a little unhappy, but after that I talked more openly about my thoughts and belief on commercial petfood. It was nice.
Have a good evening, morning, or which ever time of day it is for you! Big hugs to the cheeky duo!
Kids are doing good, still terrorizing Max with soup They both certainly know how to push my buttons. Max used to make eye contact with me and slip into his litter box for a nap after we gave him medicine. Drove me crazy. Everything's been pretty quiet with them recently, no major problems or anything.
Hope you have a good day! You should tell me some about your fuzzbutts since I talk about mine so much haha.
Short post for today, will tell you how the weekend goes~
I love how Max is like a typical child. It's kind of adorable in a way. Extra work for you though. He sounds so much fun.
You're welcome to ask me any questions about my ferrets if you would like. Talking about ferrets is what I do best.
I was just told recently that the brother of Amy (my newest dumpling) has been diagnosed with Juvenile Lymphoma. It was a little shocking because there's a possibility it could be genetics- so now I've been keeping a close eye on my crazy little girl. Might have some blood work done soon as a precautionary measure. Yuuki's birthday is coming up, Dec 5th. I should prepare a raw meaty "cake" - Last year I made a really cool cake for Haru, It was made from raw mince (shaped like a cake) whisked raw egg and duck fat for the icing, and a gizzard on top. (Pretty please with a gizzard on top--- ohhh this is catchy) It was a little too fatty so that gave them stinkish poops, but everyone enjoyed it for the little birthday celebration haha!
We had the victorian derby day yesterday (horse racing), this entire week is melbourne cup carnival, and the Melbourne cup is on Tuesday. Hurray public holiday! I'll be watching it because I quite enjoy horse racing (I used to work at a stud farm.)
Have a wonderful weekend! Big hugs to Mei and Max!
They are ok, sorry I just got in very late. I caught Max making this weird grinding sound a few times yesterday and I wasn't sure if he was grinding his teeth or over-chewing his food. I didn't think anything of it but today I noticed he was acting weird and he's sick again. Looks like the same thing as last time. Poo. Do they grind their teeth when they're in pain? I thought it was weird but I didn't think it was noteworthy until now. I still have some antibiotics leftover but I'm going to take him back to the vet before I give him anything.
I've been running around doing Halloween and other things and I completely forgot to weigh the two of them. I'll get them tomorrow when I get home for the day.
1. Ferret's name: Mei 2. Ferret's weight: 1 Ib 8.8 oz 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal: Around 3 tablespoons still 4. Stools on various proteins: Stools are good, firm most of the time 5. Activity levels: Normal - Medium 6. Weekly menu: Beef soup for most meals with an attempt at a chicken wing every couple of days
1. Ferret's name: Max 2. Ferret's weight: 2 Ibs 8.8 oz 3. Ferret has eaten "X" amount on average per meal: Still working on it 4. Stools on various proteins: Sick again 5. Activity levels: Lower than normal 6. Weekly menu: Hiatus?
Oh little Max. Grinding can indicate pain. I'm happy to hear that you plan on taking him back to the vet, you're a very responible ferret owner. I've requested advice from other mentors so they may pop in and share any of their opinions.
Max still isn't willing to eat the soup on his own but he won't spit it out when I feed it to him. I'm trying to find a flavor he likes enough to just sit and eat. I made a small breakthrough the last time I fed him when he started licking it while it was on my finger. Not really eating it but at least tentatively experiencing it on his own for the first time. I'm afraid if I put him on break until his meds are over he'll lose all the progress we made so far so I'm thinking of continuing even while he's sick possibly.
Today I'm taking the kibble out and leaving only the soup in. I think he's becoming more comfortable with it and starting to realize it's food instead of medicine I'm giving him. Mei still pitches fits over not having kibble but I'm waiting her out until she finally gives up and just eats her dinner. Though, I think she waits me out as well because I put the kibble back in before I go to bed since I'm afraid they won't eat all day otherwise.
Max is acting a little lethargic today and he was yesterday as well. I can get him up to play but it takes him a little bit to get himself moving. He's still eating, drinking, and voiding and his poop doesn't look or smell as bad as the first time. I think I caught this one much earlier than the last one. I'm not sure why he got it again...I don't know what I did wrong. Mei is fine, just like last time, and I do the same things to both of them. I don't understand how I messed up with Max again.
The vet isn't in today unfortunately but they said to use the leftover antibiotics and see if he clears up again. If not he has to have some tests done since it's only been two weeks since his last infection. They are both due for vaccines but I'll probably have to postpone Max's till later in November.
While Max was in the cage tonight and he started eating the paper litter pellets. I'm not sure how long he's been doing that but he was refusing to go down to eat his actual food. I ended up putting a second food and water bowl up on the top level but he would only eat off the floor of the cage so I traded that out for a small china plate. He ate so fast I had to refill the plate for him. I'm not sure why he wouldn't go down when I just watched him do so before and after that episode.
He's also started walking strangely, like he's trying too hard to keep his legs together and keeping his butt close to the ground. It looks like he's trying to poo with his legs together, but he's just walking.
Please don't blame yourself! You've been doing so much for little Max and I'm really happy that you're this committed to him. I can understand how stressful these situations can be, no one likes seeing their ferret or animals sick.
When it comes to transitioning, stopping and starting may put stress on his body, which then can contribute to diarrhea and so on. (It can end up a vicious cycle) I also believe trying to keep him on the transition as much as possible will be best for Max in the longterm.
Are they eating the soup without assistance now? Have you left the soup in with them in the cage at all yet? If so, have they eaten that soup without you being around? I really think that you should try trialling him with a single protein, so if you have soup that is entirely made up from beef, then how about we try him with that? The only issue would be the fact that they aren't completely on the soup, but they are doing really well so it won't hurt to try removing the kibble for a longer period of time. You can leave the soup in the cage with both Mei and Max. It will be like a protein elimination diet. I would love to hear how he would go without the kibble (which has multiple ingredients) and just eating a single protein as the soup. holisticferretforum.com/health/irritable-bowel-disease-ibd/protein-trialelimination-diet-for-ferrets-raw-diet/ You may also opt for proteins like Lamb or Goat, both are softer on the stomach and easier to digest compared to other proteins, they may be a nice option for Max.
Max being lethargic and seems like he needs to go to the toilet is a little concerning, but it is good to hear that he is still eating and drinking. The fact that his stools don't look or smell as bad last time is also a wonderful sign. Keep a good eye on him and note anything out of the ordinary. You also mention that he started eating the paper litter pellets. It may be a good idea to try a blockage protocol just to be safe. Actually, do a blockage protocol before anything else I've mentioned at this stage. I would also be tempted to remove the pellet litter for now.