Rescued Ferret - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-05-2002, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Rescued Ferret

Today I was at Petco with my boyfriend (he was finally buying his gerbils). Apparently an owner had dropped off a ferret there with them saying that they didn't have time for it anymore. The poor girl was in pretty bad shape. She stunk pretty bad and you could see dirty spots on her. Her coat was really rough and messy, ears disgusting. The cage was pretty dirty, no litter box, shelves with all kinds of stuff on them, and the bedding looks like the pebbly stuff I've seen at Petco mainly advertised for reptiles. And her nails...I don't even know -how- they got to the point they were in. Not only were they all really long, three of the nails have grown to the point of being long and "thick" is the only way I can think to describe it. Kind of yellowish, in an unusual ferret way. Plus she didn't have any food in there at all. Needless to say, we brought her home with us. We've named her Bucky (I know...not very feminine but it has signifigance for us. )
For now, I have her cage in the living room away from my kids and any of my roommates animals. First thing I did was give her some food, which she ate a little bit of but not a whole lot. Then I went to cutting her nails. My first question is can nails die? The three that were -really- long and thick didn't seem to have a quick (sp?). I can't tell if I just can't see it since the nail isn't really clear, if it's not there at all, or if it's just pulled way back to the toe for some reason. Since I couldn't see the quick on those three, I trimmed as much as seemed safe cause I really didn't want to traumatize her by catching it. I'll have to cut them all again in a few days after the quick pulls back on 'em anyway.
The bath went really well and she's so much prettier now. She's actually quite the cutie. Her coats not too soft right now, but it's a lot better than before. The poor thing is so tiny it's ridiculous. It's amazing how sweet and gentle she is considering the shape she's in. She was so quiet and calm during the nail trim and bath, though she was shaking a bit so obviously she was kind of scared. The only time she got upset was when we cleaned her ears. I can't tell if it's just been a really long time since they've been cleaned or if the wax is ear-mite related so I'll wait a few days and see what they're looking like.
I honestly don't have a clue as to how old she might be. The owner said they got her from the Petco "not that long ago", but who knows how accurate that is. Her size makes her look really young, but the length of her nails and her full teeth says she's not a baby anymore.
I've never had a ferret in this condition before since I got all four of my others as babies. I'd appreciate any hints or tips from anyone. Should I give her some Ferretvite to maybe try and kick her appetite into gear? On the issue of shots, supposedly she's up to date. I'd prefer to get her another round of them though anyway. Can you give them a second rabies/distemper shot if they're up to date? Also any ideas about the nails would be very helpful. I've never seen any animals' look like that so I really don't know what's going on there. I'm going to ask the vet I work for tomorrow what he thinks, but I'm going to check here before I head to work in the morning. I'll keep ya'll updated on how Little Bucky's doing.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2002, 04:08 PM
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The people that owned her should be shot and quartered. I run a ferret shelter in the state of Florida. First of all the condition you describe tells me that she probably did not get her full round of shots. If she is not eating well try some duck soup to boost her appetite you can get a recipe off of the web. I would definentaly talk to the vet you work for it is better to be safe then sorry. I hope that helps a little. Let me know how she is doing.
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2002, 06:06 PM
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Some of this is going to sound really common sense like stuff.
The ferret needs a bath. You can get ferret shampoos, you can use kitten shampoo. Another thing is, to clip the nails there is something you can buy called Quick Stop in case you cut back to far. If the nails are so long that they are growing into the pads you need to go see the vet because if you remove them and the animal starts bleeding from the pads it can bleed to death. Something that you can give to help with the malnutrition is Felovite. It is a cat vitamin and I have used it to nurse lots of sick animals back to health, including ferrets. Follow the directions on the tube. That is the best advice that I can give you. Sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner but I have been off line due to a move.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-06-2002, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
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So far so good! Bucky's appetite has picked up some since the other day. I've been offering her a variety of things just to try and get her weight up: dry ferret food, a little moist kitten food, wet baby food, and ferretvite. She couldn't care less for the kitten food, loves the baby food and ferretvite, and is munching on the ferret food.
She definitely got the bath and nail trim that first night. I think she was thrilled to be clean...she put up hardly any fight, much less than any of my other kids. None of the nails were so bad that they were curling into the pad yet, thank goodness. My vet said the thick, yellowish nails were probably due to malnutrition. I'm actually going to give her another trim tonight to see if I can get a little more off. So far, I've never had to use quick-stop on any of my ferrets (been lucky!) but I do have it on hand.
She does seem to be scratching and nibbling on her back more over the last day. I don't remember seeing any sign of fleas when I gave her the bath, so I'm hoping maybe her skins just gotten kind of dry after the bath. The scratching doesn't seem to be directed at her ears at all.
I'll give you all another update in a couple days. Thanks for the tips!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-15-2002, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Quick Update

Bucky's doing much better. I had her on a combination of meat-based baby food and dry ferret food for a while, because she never seemed to eat much of the dry food and I was worried she wasn't taking in enough. She -loved- the baby food though, so I didn't have to worry as much cause I knew she was eating -something-. But over the last week I've been giving less of the baby food and more dry food, and she's taking pretty well to it. I can hear her crunching away at various times of the day.
The most exciting thing was yesterday when I came home and found her actually playing! Sounds pathetic on my part, but for the first three or four days after I bought her some toys she just kind of looked at them as if asking, "What are those supposed to be for?" I came in and found her playing with the dangly one that hangs from the top of her cage and she was rolling all around biting it and having a good ol' time! I was so happy.
Her litter box training is going pretty well, though she has slight misses in the cage every once in a while. It's understandable though, considering they had the whole bottom level just as her "litterbox" before.
So all in all, much progress has been made, and she's still as sweet as ever. She's just such a cutie!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-15-2002, 05:28 PM
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Thumbs up

Hey that is great news. I am glad to hear that she is doing great. We took a ferret in a couple of weeks ago, when Sid got here he was near death. I took him to my vet and he had parasites that were literally eating him alive. Well needless to say after several different medications and alot of patience Sid is doing great. I know how you feel when we first got Sid he was so sick he barely moved, now he dookies and plays like a bandit. He is fed four times a day a special grool because I also just found out that he is insulinomic. But Sid has put on weight from the grool his coat looks great and he feels wonderful. When he looks at me with those eyes as though to say thank you that is a feeling like no other. Kiss your fuzzy for us all here at Luna's and keep us posted.

dry food, duck soup, ferret food, kitten food, litter box, litter box training

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