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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2003, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Deaf Ferret Advice ??

I know Janie (ferret_frenzy) has a couple deaf ferrets and thought someone else on here did to... so I need your help!

I am beginning to think that Winnie's problem is she may be deaf? She does not respond to ANY noises but will at least look around and acknowledge vibration (tapping on the floor). If she does not "feel" you approaching her she freaks out or any sudden movement for that matter. Which would explain her biting out of fear, although even if she sees you coming she will most of the time bite if you try to reach for her.

Is there a way to clinically diagnose deafness in ferrets? How do you train a deaf ferret (presuming that training approaches are totally different sense they can't hear you) not to be affraid or bite?

Any advice is GREATLY appreaciated!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2003, 12:48 AM
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try this link. It may be of some help to you

http://wolfysluv.jacksnet.com/deaf.html
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2003, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Nancy!! That was very informative... it seems as though Winnie definately has all the signs of being deaf and that would certainly explain a lot of her behavior.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2003, 01:53 PM
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Deafness in ferrets is pretty hard to detect, simply because they usually act just like other ferrets; other than not being startled by sudden or loud noises and the fact that they need to know you're coming(visually) before you pick them up or they'll freak out and bite. And they don't know when to quit when playing with other ferrets due to not being able to hear their cries.
We have a deaf rescue. Her deafness wasn't even apparent to the people that owned her for a year and a half before surrendering her and her cagemates over to us. They were shocked when I told them she was deaf. She's pretty well adjusted tho. She does not get startled by sudden movements or when I pick her up w/o her seeing me. I can walk up behind her and pick her up without the worry of being bitten. Deafness is definitely not a "handicap" in ferrets
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2003, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Nancy... don't worry I absolutley will NOT be getting rid of her because of deafness! We just have to learn different techniques with her thats all! That web page you pointed me to all said exactly what I have tried with her... she fail every test miserably I STILL love her just the same... extra patience is certainly needed now though. She is doing all the classic signs of being startled when she doesn't expect you: poofing up her tail & hunching her back while running backwards... the loud screeching sounds when extremely startled... not knowing when enough is enough with the other ferrets (which seems to be getting a little better)...aggressively biting obviously out of fear... not responding to any sounds of any pitch...

Nancy any tips, tricks or advice you may be able to provide with getting her to stop biting & being affraid would be appreciated!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2003, 11:51 PM
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Fsty the best thing is just try and move quietly around and no sneaking up on her. My 2 aren't even bothered anymore if we walk up behind them. They really are just like the rest of them. It also might help to hold her a little more often. It is hard to reprimand though LOL...I still find myself telling them no when they get into something. They are pretty well behaved though, so I don't have to many problems. Also deaf ferrets are known to be much more vocal, and loud while being vocal. All mine bottle brush the tails when startled and especially when excited! I also noticed that DS hisses alot more during play than the others do as well. He loves when I get down on hands and knees and play with him, he knows he can hiss at me and get away with it...LOL

Good luck with her, she is a doll!
 
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2003, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again everyone! I have found a way to let her know when she is good versus bad! If she allows me to pick her up without biting me then I kiss her under the chin/neck making that puckering sound so she can feel the vibration from it. If she tries to bite she doesn't get a kiss. It seems to be working anyway!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2003, 11:11 AM
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Glad to hear something is working for you. It really does help when you continue trying! She will come around!
 
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2003, 11:54 PM
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I am so glad you got help fsty!


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