Don't let the vet talk to you about fat furbabies when they're still kits. The weight loss when they move into adult is huge and sometimes terrifying. You have these cute little pudge-beasts one day and what appears to be rail thin teenagers the next (they're not, in fact may actually weigh more) but they lean out soooo much ciao
that's exactly what happened with Trixie! She is starting to really slim down. She used to be my tubby wubby
Ferrets are not supposed to be fat. Bob Church says that AMericans tend to keep their ferrets too fat. My boys (especially Tonto) get too fat. It's not good for them.
When Tonto is fat, (winter), he could easily be punted through the goal postssince somebody could mistake him for a football. This is really bad for him because he then gets lazy. His blood work will run toward the high side of the glucose spectrum. I have to get him running stairs and I have keep him away from the food bowl and hand feed him to make sure he doesn't suck up everything in site. NOT cute.
One thing that happens to ferrets as they get older is they lose muscle tone. (Especially altered ferts) Ferts can be chunky as kids, but by two, most slim down a bit. As ferrets age the places the lose muscle the most tend to include: 1. the shoulders 2. the spine (basically all along the back/top side of the animal.
The fat pads tend to settle in around the hind legs. this seems to make the top half look even skinnier. Plus, as ferret ages, the fur tends to get shorter. Most ferts look bestt their foirst 2 years.
Some of the changes in muscle tone, for , and weight (how it's carried) seems to be hormonally related. (Adrenal activity affects fur, muscle tone, and how weight is carried) A ferret can carry some fat and still look boney in the lower back and ribs compared to how he was when he was younger.
This can be helped a bit with climbing exercises as well as teaching your ferret to sit up.
I agree, I can't help but think that if Napoleon would have stayed active and thinner he might not have succumbed to heart failure at such an early age. It may have been genetic. He came from the same group of ferrets (9 months apart) as Attila who passed on due to a massive coronary. He was way too fat though. Unfortunately, it works the same as people the fatter our fuzzes get the more lethargic and harder it is to get them to move. Some lines seem to lean more toward fat, early spay and neuter certainly cannot help. Kibble also doesn't help. I find that raw helps keep my guys thinner and trimmer but I have to be vigilent. With Napoleon, realizing that he had a heart problem to begin with and knowing that ferrets from that particular group was susceptible to heart issues should have tried to keep him more mobile and much thinner . ciao
Heather, there's a lot of genetic behind heart issues. Even with exercise and reduced diet, there are no guarantees that things would have been different. Napoleon was very happy. Sometimes I think Tonto gets annoyed with me when I try to distract him from eating so much. Tonto is hand fed so I can slow down his eating rate and others have a chance to eat (therefor he gets less than if I let him eat on his own) Tonto just LOVES food. -jennifer