Good to know about insulinoma! Kinda like ferret diabetes? I know that ferrets tend to get a lot of health problems and I was wondering what your experience has been with feeding them raw? Is there anything else I can do to prevent the common ones like insulinoma or adrenal? Or anything that I should keep on hand in case of emergencies? I got the pumpkin, Vaseline, and Karo now. And I know that I've only been doing raw for a week now but I've had friends who already tell me that my guys smell better. I still think that flint smells like sweaty gym socks but Missy's tail totally smelled like grape!!! It's my fav flavour 😋
Post by Aftershock on Sept 25, 2017 1:01:35 GMT -5
RE like ferret diabetes- Yes and no, similar in that the blood glucose is important, but that's about it. So, when you feed kibble, their BG goes up and down a ton. This sends signals to their pancreas to produce more insulin, which in turn puts to much strain on the pancreas. What happens then is the Beta cells (these create the insulin) become diseased. This causes them to create even more insulin, and muliply fast (this is how the tumors are created). Insulin signals their bodies to take glucose from their blood. Do you see the circle that happens with it? Tumors start, they produce more insulin, the insulin steals glucose, this causes a crash. Diabetes is when the body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in the blood. They need the insulin shots to take the excess glucose from their blood.
With raw there's less of a chance of gingivitis, Insulinoma, kidney and bladder stones, cleaner ears, and faster healing. There are a couple of other things I feel like I'm missing. I've only been feeding raw for a year, and my crew is still young, so I haven't had many issues... yet. A lot of what I know raw helps with comes from the higher ups here, and a couple of them have had many ferrets over the years (many rescues). Raw helps a bit, but ferrets are cancer machines : ( the best way to try to avoid cancers are getting ferrets from a reputable breeder, not desexing them, and not feeding kibble. Once your ferret has been spayed or neutered you only have a few years before adrenal disease happens. The disease is only slowed with hormone injections called Lupron or DES implant. The DES lasts longer and ends up being cheaper in the long run.
RE in case of emergencies- Plain chicken baby food, FDR, baby benadryl, syringes (no needles) are the first other things that come to mind : )
Yay! I'm so happy to hear you are already seeing changes! I looooove grape tail!
Also- I hope this post doesn't bounce around and get too confusing. I'm really wiped out and not feeling all that well today. x.x
Your post isn't confusing, it's informative! And I'm sorry your not feeling well :,( It makes me sad that the big breeders don't seem to care about ferrets in the long run. We got Flint from this terrible pet store because he looked so sad and alone. He was underweight and loosing his fur. Thankfully that place closed down a few months later. Then when we got Missy we tried looking for a private breeder but there are none in BC, at least that I could find. We got her from a different pet store because she was all alone too and had been there for 6 months. We think she was returned because she did have some separation "issues" And I know adrenal will be a problem down the road because they are desexed so early in life. I was just hoping there was a way to prevent it. Also our vet told us to put flint back on ferret food after the surgery. I didn't feel like arguing and he is just the surgeon. The vet we originally saw said raw was a good idea 🤗
So, some more questions! Missy is still an eating machine. She regularly finishes off her portion and some of Flints. Tonight I picked her up after she finished and she felt like she was going to burst! Jokingly I poked her tummy and she almost threw up 😮 Should we be feeding her more than twice a day right now so she doesn't eat until she explodes? And their poops. I notice the standard 3 or so hours after a meal they go about the size in the pic you sent. But the rest of the day they will have little drop sized poops. Is that normal? What other types of meat can I use instead of chicken thighs? I still have a bunch of chicken hearts and liver but I'm guessing that a variety of meat is best. Should I mix it up with pork or beef? And what cuts should I use? And just one more question! How long should they be on soup for? Is it a complete diet that they can be on for a while or is it just meant to be an introduction? Missy will have no problem moving up to other meals but Flint is still difficult and I have a feeling it will be a battle every step of the way. He still needs to be convinced to eat and we have to start from square one every time he comes across a chunk or I make a new batch of soup. Sorry for so many questions 😅
Post by Aftershock on Sept 26, 2017 12:53:55 GMT -5
Whew! I'm glad! I was a bit worried, my brain was a bit foggy when I wrote that all up
Many breeders will actually ship kits to you : )
I wish there was a way around adrenal in desexed ferrets too : (
If Missy eats from the dish on her own, I'd just leave the soup in with her all day. : ) She will eat when she's hungry now. I would weigh the amount before and after, just to keep track of how much she's eating (how much they eat can help tell you if they are sick or not, so it's a good thing to keep track of)
If they are only eating a few times a day rather than munching when they want, their poops will be smaller : ) so no worries there.
I'd really like to wait and get them eating some slivers/smaller chunks before bringing in new stuff. We could actually start introducing some slivers with Missy if you'd like, Or even try an inch and a half long sliver by half an inch wide and cover in soup just to see what she does. Couldn't hurt and even if she doesn't take it, you can just cut it into small slivers lol Does that sound good?
The soup covers the basics and thankfully it takes a long while for them to develop deficiencies (I'm talking like 6month to a year). Flint is actually doing VERY well. He's battling less than Cow usually does, and I'm so very proud of him! I bet anything we get him switched over faster than you think ; )
Don't be sorry! That's what I'm here for and I'm happy to share my knowledge with you<3
Also- MINI QUIZ TIME!
You have run out of heart, how much taurine supplement should your ferrets get? (be specific)
List 2 good sources of taurine.
What are some good emergency taurine sources if you run out of heart?
I LOVE QUIZ TIME!!!! Time for research! So it looks like a ferret should get at least 1400mg a week of taurine (200mg/day) but its ok to give a bit more because excess taurine is just excreted. And more taurine is better than not enough, but within reason. Other good sources of taurine are chicken thighs, tongues, other muscle meats, brains (yum), seafood (do/can ferrets eat fish?)... and energy drinks... Supplements can also be used to get extra taurine but don't work as well as natural sources and might not be so good in the long run And it doesn't look like freezing degrades taurine as long as it doesn't loose its juices. But it is easy to loose taurine through cooking and grinding meats and fresh is always best. Let me know if those answers are ok, or terribly wrong, or if there is something I missed. Im not so into accidentally killing my ferrets with too much/not enough taurine.
We left Missy's bowl out this evening and she is hilarious. She chowed down on most of it at first and a while later, when we were feeding Flint, she decided that she would try some of his, and the rest of hers. And only stopped to glare at me when I laughed at how huge she is getting. She has put on her winter weight and then some, but she was also always on the tiny side so I'm happy. I am going to try the slivers tomorrow with her and I have a good feeling that she will take well to it. She seems to enjoys the little chunks of fat in her food. Should I just use some more chicken thighs for that? Im happy that Flint isn't the most picky eater ever. I just worry about him and if he is getting enough to eat. The poor little boy has had a rough go of it the last few weeks. Its all for the better though.
Post by Aftershock on Sept 28, 2017 0:05:33 GMT -5
So it looks like a ferret should get at least 1400mg a week of taurine (200mg/day) but its ok to give a bit more because excess taurine is just excreted. And more taurine is better than not enough, but within reason.
Actually, if you aren't serving heart at all, it's 500mg per day, split in half and given twice a day for best absorption ; )
Other good sources of taurine are chicken thighs, tongues, other muscle meats, brains (yum), seafood (do/can ferrets eat fish?)... and energy drinks... Supplements can also be used to get extra taurine but don't work as well as natural sources and might not be so good in the long run
All meats contain taurine, BUT the best options here would be cow tongue or a taurine supplement. : )
And it doesn't look like freezing degrades taurine as long as it doesn't loose its juices. But it is easy to loose taurine through cooking and grinding meats and fresh is always best.
So, here's the fun thing about freezing, it does eventually start degrading nutrients, but it takes about a year to do so ; )
Bahahahahahaha, Missy is turning into quite the little carnivore, isn't she? They inhale SO much at the beginning, you'd think they never had food before lmao Also- ferret rule #1 if it's somebody elses food, it tastes better. Just wait until they start bickering over food, it's hilarious. Croc and Cow are deaf, and they SCREAM at each other over food. They will generally also go after fatty pieces more often, but just remember balance, too much fat can also be bad, but fat is also their energy source. It's nothing to worry about right now, and as long as you aren't feeding super fatty cuts all of the time later, you're good. I get whole fowl like chicken, duck, and turkey and just rotate through the different cuts. : )
Have you managed to try slivers with Missy yet? : D
Looking into taurine was fun but it's a bit scary knowing that you can miss/overdo different nutrients and pretty much kill your ferrets. Which is why we have mentors! 😉 We put some slivers in Missy's dinner and the first piece she came across she tried to hide in her tunnel. She was the queen of stashing kibble so I guess she misses it. So we are going to have to keep an eye out for hidden, rotten meat! But after a gentle "no" she sat and ate it but made squishy face. She tried a few more pieces but she's not used to the texture yet and went for Flints food. Flint is getting about 4oz of soup a day. I would like to see him eat a bit more but I don't want to force feed him. He will only eat a few spoonfuls at a time so we spread it out through the day. He isn't loosing weight anymore but hasn't really gained any either. He is growing his winter fur though.
Post by Aftershock on Sept 28, 2017 11:50:16 GMT -5
Surprisingly, I've never had meat rot on me. My house is generally cool enough that I've never had to deal with it. You could try a drop or two of salmon oil in with her slivers, that should help a little. : ) 4 ounces is plenty of food for him<3 I'm so happy to hear he is eating that much! How much time passes between feedings for him again?
We usually feed him around 8 am and go in 15 min intervals until he has eaten enough and then we do it again at 8pm. He is a little bugger at first but then he actually seems to like it and then he gets distracted between spoonfuls and looses interest. It makes it hard to tell when he is full because he seems to be into eating but not focused on it.
Post by Aftershock on Sept 28, 2017 21:53:06 GMT -5
Try scruffing him, petting down his face, neck, and belly until he relaxes, give him a bit of salmon oil, then start with the spoon. : ) it should help a little. If it helps too, you are more than welcome to plop a drop in the spoon with his soup and see if that gets him eating out of the spoon on his own. ; )
I'll try that! I want meal time to be fun, not a struggle for him. Missy refused to eat last night. It might have been because we had to defrost their soup in the microwave because I forgot to take it out of the freezer yesterday. The soup didn't smell bad but it might have gotten a bit cooked. I tried mixing some salmon oil in it but even scruffing her didn't work. It was also pretty hot yesterday (32C or 90F) and our place is like an oven without air conditioning. Dan is making more soup today so hopefully she will eat that.
Post by Aftershock on Sept 29, 2017 12:06:51 GMT -5
Yeah, microwaves are notorious for cooking things, and it being uneven. If this happens again, try getting a large tupperware or bowl, filling it with warm water, and letting it thaw that way. You can replace the water if it gets cold, but make sure to use warm, not hot. If you have time, there's always the option of leaving it on the counter until it thaws.
You may want to grab some water bottles, freeze them, pop them under some blankets, and swap them out during the day for your floofs. Super high temps can be a scary thing since they can't sweat. Most ferrets also love to cuddle blankies while they sleep/sleep in a pile, and this amplifies their temp. : )
Lol, silly microwaves. I'll try using warm water the next time I forget to take out their soup beforehand. My husband has been begging to get a pet cooling mat... but I feel like the ferrets will just try to eat it. Frozen water bottles are a much better idea. But the rain is back today! Hurray.... Funny husband almost broke the blender making more soup. He eventually got it done any Missy ate like it was going out of style. How long can/should a ferret go without eating? Missy still had a poop this morning so I think she still has some food digesting at least
Post by Aftershock on Sept 29, 2017 17:39:00 GMT -5
Ehehehehehe, I used to have to do the warm water trick every feeding when I first started. I freaked out a lot that first month... the boys were also eating around 15oz per day and I was under the impression it was going to be much less than that. The cooling mats make me nervous too. Frozen tiles and water bottles are great to help keep them cool. We actually have an AC specifically for the ferret room lmao. O.o he almost broke it? Bahahahahahahahaha! Since Missy is still pretty young and doesn't have any health issues that we know of- I wouldn't worry so much if she misses a feeding here or there as long as she's acting completely normal (drinking, eating, pooping/peeing, and playing). It's hard to give an exact amount of time... I generally don't suggest longer than four hours because I have no idea what the health history of the ferret is, you know? I do want to be extra careful with Flint though.