One of my very first fuzzbutts is now nearing the elder age where his legs are a little more wobbley and his teeth just aren’t as strong. I make sure to brush all my ferrets teeth if they aren’t on a complete bone in diet but the last time I tried to brush Appas, the oldest, it seemed like he was just putting up with it, for lack of better words. Usually, he’ll bite down on the tooth brush and help out but this last time he just wasn’t into it. I didn’t want to scruff him seeing as we don’t usually do that when brushing teeth and I didn’t want to startle him. Is there a treat I can give to him that will help with scrubbing some tartar off or any other solutions you guys know of? I’ve considered going back to kibble seeing as he’s been aging smoothly. I just don’t want to start anything up by taking him off raw. He used to be on Orijen cat/kitten and that’s what I would be giving him as the ultimatum but I was hoping that some soft nutritional treat suggestions were out there that help brush the teeth. He still loves to play and gives 100% when he’s awake but he has been sleeping longer during the day and seems to tire easily. I’m wondering what you ferrents did to help your grandpa and grannies age with a little more ease.
Post by abbeytheferret6 on Jan 24, 2019 3:31:51 GMT -5
How old are your little ones? The oldest ferret I ever had was a little over 6.5. That is why I am trying to keep mine on all raw to see if I can lengthen their days. I have already seen no insulinoma to date with this set, and have experienced clean teeth. My oldest is five--ish and still tearing into those boney pieces. Have you considered Chicken ribs and quail? They are not terribly hard.
Since I haven't had any really old ferrets---someone else might help you better.
Everyone slows down some as they age, but the fact that he;s still playing is great. I don't know where you live, but it's winter here, and many ferrets are less active or active for shorter periods in winter. I've had a few that would be active 3-4 times a day for an hour vs just morning and evening during winter.
Last Edit: Jan 24, 2019 18:44:11 GMT -5 by unclejoe
Appa is now a little over 6.5! He's still very active too when he's awake. I only switched him on raw a year and a half ago (when we discovered my other fuzzy at the time had insulinoma). I noticed some major improvements on both him and my other boy! Now I have two new additions and they both love it! I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and it never really gets below 40 in winter but he still seems to sleep the day away. He wakes up early and plays with the lot for maybe 20 minutes then runs to eat breakfast, then straight for a nap. Same for the dinner routine. I'm lucky if I get 40 minutes out of him. But he's in the bean pit and tunnel playing like he's still a kit! I'll try the quail wings again and see if he likes them Thanks for the advice!
Will not be hypocritical about it--have considered kibble for my male who seems to have problems with feathered things. Then he doesn't like rabbit--doesn't like rat To get him eating rabbit, I make warm soupies and start off finger feeding(I make soupies with a nutribullet). He finally eats mouse as I keep putting them out for him.
Is he treated for adrenal? It's a thought. Why when your ferret will eat raw would you even consider feeding kibble. That makes no sense at all. You talk about wanting to clean his teeth, kibbles certainly won't do that. A gentle scruffing while you brush his teeth isn't wrong. I've done this to help out a couple of my seniors. As far as reducing what they will eat or deign to eat....don't let them set your diet. If you have to go back to scratch. Prey is often difficult for some seniors with bad teeth but I've had 11 yrs old ferrets who've eaten whole prey and frankenprey. These were Marshals and Path Valley ferrets. ciao
Mine know if they don't eat what they've been given, that is exactly what they have for the next meal time as well. As long as it is a protein they know, I will use a bit of "tough love" and they can be given the exact same thing 2 or 3 days in a row until they finally give in and eat it.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
LOL Abbeytheferret, Appa is very picky also! Thank you for the video and recommendation. I have some whole quail in my freezer that I get from a local butcher My other two youngins love it. Mind if I ask how long it took your male to start showing interest in the mice? That was another thing we got close with.. I started adding limbs and parts of the mice in the soupy and things were going well until I put a head in there. It freaked him out so bad, I thought he was having some hyper-aware outer body experience after really looking at it. He hid every time I set out a pinky or mouse after that. Even tho I show him it's new and not the same one (in case that one was spoiled).
I'll definitely have to take your advice, Heather, and try to switch him to whole pray again. I don't want him on kibble but I also feel like I'm limited with what I can feed this child. With bones, he gets as far as quail.. and after a while gets sick of it after so long since he wouldn't eat anything else. Not even chicken bits. We would hit a wall and have to start over. I used to scruff him when I first started brushing his teeth and over time, he picked up on how it works and I wouldn't have to. That's why I didn't want to scruff him.. he was abnormally weak that day and is having more of those lately so I'm aiming to take him to the fuzzbutt doctor sometime this weekend to make sure its not something else. That's surprising to hear a Marshalls ferret live to 11! Cheers to you and healthy tails! I would absolutely love to see my old man live to 11!!
That was a battle. However, if you can get ur ferrets to like salmon oil you can put that on them. He does not like salmon oil yet. I did cut mice up for my Phoebe and put oil on them. Offer in the mornings or evenings when they have done without food for several hours. They do like eating during late night hours, so put one in the cage at night. Maybe it will be gone in morning. I am not going to say it will be a quick process. U may have to throw away some mice that they just stash.
As far as heads---mine don't eat them. When I wash their blankets, sometimes one or two will end in the wash and even make it into the dryer
Phoebe eating cut up mouse with salmon oil.
I do take out the guts---but people don't usually do that. Just a habit I got into when I was trying to get them to eat them. The upper half is really the most important part--- all the organs are there. Someone wanted to quit feeding mice because they would not eat the bottom part. To me, it is worth feeding mice if they just eat the top. Of course one does have to think about cost.
Oh my Glob! Your Phoebe is so cute! lol that face <3 Okay We'll start once again with the mice! It's true, they are pricey but worth it since it keeps them healthy.
Btw, Appa saw the vet the other day and they took an X-ray. They said he's perfectly healthy and were shocked by that since he's a little over 6.5 ! But we didn't go to his usual vet and I am slightly skeptical since they couldn't read the X-ray in house and sent them out for another company to read. The doc he saw said his heart looked enlarged and he might have a tumor on his lung... but then called me hours after we left saying that the radiologist said he looked perfectly fine..
I am hoping to send the X-rays to his usual doctor for a second opinion. I will post them here also when they email the X-rays to me so I can ask you professionals (seeing as all vet companies I've experienced are Purina trained)
Post by peacexlovexpets on Feb 10, 2019 0:34:17 GMT -5
If they sent them to a radiologist, they are read just fine (radiologist are BOARD certified above their regular vet degree, they took 2+ years of class and 2+ years of additional residency learning radiographs, so they know their stuff).
As far as switching diet goes: kibble doesn't help knock of tartar any better than a raw diet; however, it does have less tooth wear/less chance of broken teeth. I think switching to a smaller prey is a great idea (something with bones that aren't as hard on his teeth), as he will be more frail in age and is far more prone to cracking teeth (which is not fun in old age and requires extraction/surgery).
For brushing, I would keep up with it. Even if he isn't loving it. There are some pretty good enzyme based dog toothpastes that my pup loves (chicken flavor), and I am training my ferrets to like (by mixing it with ferretone, they are rescues and it is their favorite treat). It is completely edible and does help fight tartar build up and knock down bacteria numbers to help with gingival care and bad breath. I use it every night on my pup and his teeth look amazing.
Veterinary Medicine Class of 2022 Animal Scientist Graduate of 2018 Mother of 1 dog, 4 ferrets, and 1 fish