In the last year my 2 elderly ferrets (now 7 and 6 1/2yrs) have had bouts of illness that without intensive nursing and care would have seen them not survive even with lots of drugs and medicine.
Ferrets go down very very quickly, a lot of the time they get dehydrated and stop eating so that the electrolyte balance of the blood becomes imbalanced and a threat to their lives regardless of the underlying illness.
I always check my boys for their hydration. It is very simple, gently pinch the scruff of the neck, if it springs back instantly – hydration is good, if it is slow in going back then fluids are essential, and depending on your experience and knowledge of your ferret, probably you should get you fuzzy checked by a vet, though if your fuzzy is apparently okay, I would just offer water and try to get him to drink, before panicking .
I ended up with one of my boys hand feeding, etc, for over a month as he had developed an infection in his mouth and stopped eating by himself, though would eat okay if I gave him the gourmet ferret food I now alway prepare at the slightest hint of them being off colour.
I make up a batch and store in the fridge using it over a few days, and is a system that works for me and mine:
I boil some chicken, whatever is available (breast, thighs portions preferably with skin), when cooked I take out any bones, then I add an egg and some lard, warm it up (so egg is cooked and lard melted) and mix it together, then I add honey, ferretvite (or similar) and the regular dry ferret kibble. You may need to add more water. Then I liquidise it so it is well mixed and in a paste form. Place it in a storage container and when cool, place in the fridge.
Then I give the ferret a spoonful of this paste with warm water added and mixed well (as it is out of the fridge the warm water makes it a better temperature for them to eat). Please be sure that it will not burn your ferret if the water/mixture is too hot. The ferret then gets this 4 times a day so they are fed and hydrated while they fight their illness or medication has a chance to work.
This is very easy to do. There are other recipes out there that require bones to be ground up and egg shells smashed and other things that seem in my experience to pass straight through the ferret. My recipe is really quick, cheap and easy to do, and I have found it works.
Obviously, vets need to be consulted when you do not know what is wrong, but a sick ferret also needs to be nursed. Hope this helps someone x
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