Hi there, I'm not sure if I've posted this in the right place, sorry for any mistakes, I'm new! >.<
I've been thinking of adopting ferrets again and a local girl is having to give up her two geriatric ferrets due to a move.
I am meeting them today and from what I've heard they are eating Marshalls and have been on it their whole lives. They also refuse to switch, her words not mine.
She tells me they are also pee pad trained. I'm hoping to switch them to pine pellet litter in a square highback low entrance box cuz I really hate per pads and they gross me out.
Now they are quite up there in age. She tells me one is 5 and the other is 7 or 8... do you think by switching their food, giving them a new home, changing how they pee etc. It's going to be too stressful?
Am I wasting my time with any changes I'd like to make for them?
Thanks all for advice and input
Edit: I was thinking I'd feed them orijen Regional Red mixed with wellness Core cat . Mix in a tiny bit at a time over several weeks until They're switched.
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2017 11:23:35 GMT -5 by Deleted
Can't help you with the switch to the better kibbles...I would think your method is probably right. Changing things to senior ferrets is just that changing. The oldest surrender I've ever had was about 9 yrs. I switched her from the crap cat kibble she was eating to raw, she switched herself to prey. She learned about litter boxes (originally the bottom of her cage was the litter box), she learned the world was much bigger than her cage, she got to free roam here. Was it stressful, I'm sure it was but considering I got her because her owner didn't want to watch her die and she looked every bit to be breathing her last when I took her in. With all the switches I did with her in my care she lived another 18 months. I did use some RR (rescue remedy in her water) she did continue to live with her friend (they fought like cats and dogs, I was told they were bonded but I don't know lol). Changing house or the environment is the biggest stresser, so you might as well do food and whatever else you want to change as well ciao
I wouldn't do the Wellness Core kibbles, I have actually used them myself before back when doing kibbles, but they contain peas very high up in the ingredient list, so once I found out about that, I stopped. Peas, Pea Protein, and things like Sweet Potatoes have been said to contribute quite a bit towards kidney and bladder stones occurring related to diet.
Now Orijen does also contain some, but it's sooooo far down the list that it may as well be the equivalent of 5 peas being dropped into the entire bag, lol. So doing Orijen would be a good choice of kibble.
I too would say to use some Bach's Rescue Remedy, it definitely helped mellow things out here when introducing new arrivals to our home. Both for the new arrivals and current animals, especially for my angry, snooty kitty who did not like me bringing more ferret siblings...
As for the potty behavior... good luck with that one, not saying it can't be done because it can, but you may have your work cut out for you with that one for a little while. My home uses both custom boxes (because my ferrets kept protest pooping until they got the box that met ALL their needs) and pee pads, I mostly use the pads because I don't want butt scrubs on my floors and carpets, as is like of ferrets to do after using the potty. That said, some of the pads are used to potty on, but it works to highly curb mistakes being made in our home. When introducing the box to them, reward them when you see them use it, either with praise or a treat and praise. Put a little poop in when changing boxes, so it's never 100% empty and can remind them to go in there. And if you see them aim somewhere else, call out to get their attention and go over, pick them up quickly and pop them inside a litter box to go. I also used to say "Pottybox" (you can use whatever though) when placing mine inside, so they got used to what the litterbox was called. After time I could just say "No! Pottybox!" when I saw someone try to go where they shouldn't and they run off for the nearest litter box to correct their mistake.
Oh, and to switch kibbles, the common practice is to do so over 10 days. You do it by starting with old kibble and add in 1/10th of the new kibble every day until you end up with only new kibble entirely. As for doing a raw switch, if that is what you wish to do, you can most certainly do that one instead, it would be much healthier in the end even for older ferrets. Chances are the person saying they are refusing to switch might just not have been patient nor persistent enough with it. Switching older ferrets, who have long since imprinted on their foods, can be a lot of work and time, but it can most definitely be done.
Thank you for all that info! I forgot about wellness CORE having lots of peas. I just met the fuzzbutts today and I fell in love. They give face kisses <3 I noticed the male has thinning hair and seems to have a thick neck... possible adrenal disease? Do you think the diet switch will help?
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2017 23:27:07 GMT -5 by Deleted
If the ferret indeed has Adrenal Disease, then the only thing that will really help with that is the DES (Deslorelin/Suprelorin) implant, it's the only thing that treats the disease itself. Adrenal ferrets need the implant redone every 6 months compared to ferrets without adrenal who can have it done as a preventative yearly instead. The Melatonin implant does not fight Adrenal, but it can help with the regrowth of lost fur.