I rescued an old female ferret on Saturday from our local shelter. Her sibling died at the shelter. She is approx 9yrs old and extremely skinny. She is about 300 grams and is smaller than my boys were at 9 weeks.
The day I picked her up she was falling over when she walked and falling when trying to poop. I suspected insulinoma. I bought the high calorie ferret supplement to get her sugar up and fed her. She shows signs of Adrenal Disease (the shakes, thin rough dry coat, little appetite, muscle wasting and very thin). I started her on 1mg of Melatonin at night.
She will only eat Marshall’s kibble. I made soupies but she wouldn’t touch it. I am currently sneaking some raw in her soaked kibble as long as it is hidden well. My other two eat raw. I ordered a meat grinder and it’s on the way. I need tips and tricks to switch her over. I know I can do it and I know it will be hard.
We have a vet appt tomorrow morning but I am not expecting a miracle. My goal is to get her to gain weight and keep her comfortable.
She cannot straighten her back and she can’t climb at all. Not even a tiny bit. She is extremely sweet to me. My ferrets are kept in a heated greenhouse converted to a ferret house as I have read the science on artificial light contributing to Adrenal Disease. I know she is too weak to survive surgery and there is no cure. This is a hospice case and she will be loved and cared for until the end. But good nutrition will be a big help. You can see her spine and her hip bones are sticking out.
hello. As I'm sure you know, 9 is pretty old for a ferret. and she is showing all the signs of advanced age. You can try grinding some kibble and mixing it with raw so it has a similar taste. If the transition doen't work, at least she's getting good care. Melatonin should be given during the day, 5-6 hours after sunrise if possible, to regulate circadian rhythm/sleep cycle.
I want to tell you that i really admire what you did for her and i admire your strength to pass through all this difi ult situation. All the creatures, regardlesss of age, deserve good care and momments of love, for as long as they will remain in life. And you did it!
Post by Corvidophile on Feb 24, 2022 15:23:30 GMT -5
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Good job for rescuing her, she’ll probably benefit from insulinoma meds but adrenal disease can cause falling over as well. It ruins the muscles in the hind legs.
What also helps for insulinoma is giving more fat. Fat is a good source of long term energy, it burns slowly. For ferrets with insulinoma, feeding fat can help make the sugar spikes less intense by giving long term energy to them.