Happy Easter, everyone :)

 

Hope you and your ferrets all have a very happy and peaceful Easter 😀

Just remember that chocolate is dangerous for ferrets so please make sure no one gives any to your babies!

Stay safe and well over the Easter weekend 🙂

 

Folklore, Myths and Olden Day Cures re Ferrets

There are a number of myths, olden day cures and folklore about our favorite slinky friend, the ferret 🙂

Here are a few I’ve found on my travels around the internet …

 

Olden Day Cures

Near Corofin the favourite cures for this illness (whooping cough) were to pass the child under an ass, or to give the sufferer any food or cure prescribed by a man on a white horse when met accidentally, or to give the patient the ‘leavings of a ferret’ i.e. food left uneaten by that animal.

A Folklore Survey of County Clare by Thomas Johnson Westropp

 

Donkey’s milk and ferret’s (food) leavings, together with the fasting spit and boiled primroses, were time-honored cures for jaundice and other mystery complaints.

Old Animal Charms and Cures (“Tales from the West of Ireland” by Sean Henry)

 


 

Ferret — Though not the best-loved of animals, the ferret does have the redeeming feature of being able to cure Whooping Cough, according to ancient English and Irish tradition. The procedure recommended is to let a ferret drink from a bowl of milk and then to feed the remainder to the patient.

Cassell’s Dictionary of Superstition – David Pickering

(I take umbrage at the term ‘not the best-loved of animals’! Perhaps we should write to Mr Pickering and tell him in no uncertain terms how VERY MUCH LOVED our ferrets are!!! 😉 )

 



Folklore

 

Russian Folklore regarding the Ferret

 

When Genghis Khan’s “Golden Horde”, the descendants of his Tartars, turned their eyes towards northern Russia, they met with an unexpected adversary.

Fifteen year old wizard Volga Vseslavich decided to challenge the Tartars with an army of barely 7000. First Volga turned himself into a ram to go through the mountains undetected. When he neared Khan’s fortress, he became a small bird and flew to the window sill of Khan’s bed chamber.

He heard Khan’s wife tell her husband of a dream she had where a small Northern bird slew a Southern raven. She recognized the small bird in her dream as a wizard and begged her husband not to attack the north. As Khan laughed at his wife, Volga changed into a ferret, and entering the armory, chewed through the arrows and bow strings. He then entered the stables as a wolf and killed the horses of Khan’s army.

Volga then flew back to his army as a swift falcon. Marching his army from Kiev, he changed them all into ants as they neared Khan’s palace. The sentries therefore, saw nothing, until Volga’s soldiers were retransformed into men, right at the gates. With no warning, weapons, or horses, Khan’s army was defeated.

 


 

Kamaitachi – Japanese Folklore regarding the Weasel

Sometimes a person walking in the mountains will be beset by a ferocious wind, and only later will they discover the deep but painless gashes made in their skin as if by some very sharp instrument.

This is said to be the work of the kama-itachi, a weasel-like creature that rides in a whirlwind, and is equipped with very sharp sickle-like claws with which to attack humans.

In Gifu prefecture, the kamaitachi is said to work in teams of three, the first rushing upon and stunning the victim, the second cutting with its claws, and the third applying medicine that eliminates pain and stifles the bleeding.

(Copyright) The Obakemono Project

 


 

Shamanism ~ Ferret, Power Animal, Symbol of Keen Observation

by Ina Woolcott

Ferrets are members of the weasel family. Their medicine includes stealth, cunning, skilfull hunters, cleverness, ingenuity, revenge, keen observation, ability to see hidden reasons behind things.

Archaeological and historical sources suggest that ferrets have been domesticated for 2,500 years at least. Greek historical give reference to the ferret about 450 BC. Roman documents refer to the use of ferrets to hunt rabbits around the time of Christ.

Very skillful tunnel hunters, it is believed ferrets were used by the Egyptians as well as farmers and seafarers to get rid of rodents in barns and on ships. However, the history of the ferrets domestication is speculative, without any concrete evidence, giving this small animal an illusive air.

Ferrets are cheerful, playful animals with the inquisitiveness of the raccoon and the amiableness of a kitten. They are also opportunists, quick to take advantage and will filch anything they can drag to a safe hiding place to be used at a later time. Brainy and cunning the ferret shows us how to use our creativeness to build a safe haven for ourselves, and to stock up with things that may be needed – always be ready for any situation that may come into existence. The ferret is a good, helping ally to have around in hard time.

Read more here …

 

This DVD is on my Christmas list :)

My goodness, it looks like a laugh a minute 😀

I don’t know how Alison Parker manages to get her ferrets to be such cute actors but she certainly has done well from what I’ve seen, which isn’t much!

This is the trailer for the movie …

while this video is about the bloopers, and I bet there were quite a few of those, trying to keep those 3 ferrets on cue 😀

 

Note to my daughters : ‘Okay kiddos, now you know what mama wants for Christmas!’DesiSmileys.com

 

During Pharaoh’s day – a Ferret or not a Ferret? [c 2686 BC – 1070 BC]

There seem to be a number of people who maintain that ferrets were first kept in Egypt as rat catchers but I have been unable to verify this as fact.

Strabo talks about the ichneumon being an animal peculiar to Egypt in Augustus’ time.

This animal was a member of the Viverridae family (other animals of the same family being the mongoose, meerkat, genet, civet), and which used to attack snakes and eat crocodile eggs.

There was a legend about the ichneumon that said it crept into the mouths of crocodiles when they gaped and ate out their bowels!

This animal, also called “Pharaoh’s rat,” has a grey coat with black tail tufts and could easily have been mistaken for a ferret or weasel on ancient drawings or statues.

Both the ichneumon and the shrewmouse were associated with the sun god and were honored, particularly during the late Greco-Roman periods, with burial and a small bronze statuary.

So, sadly I must deduct that there were no ferrets during Pharaoh’s day – boo! :'(

Weasel Kit Adopted by Cat

This is an oldie but an absolute goldie!

Nine years ago it was reported that a pregnant cat in West China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region brought home an orphaned weasel kit. I can only imagine that it was because of her condition that the cat was feeling incredibly motherly and so didn’t eat the little creature 🙂

The weasel giving its mama a kiss © Xinhua

The weasel giving its mama a kiss © Xinhua

Soon afterwards the cat gave birth to five kittens and the kit suddenly had playmates!

© Xinhua

© Xinhua

 

© Xinhua

© Xinhua

 

What a wonderful thing of different species coexisting happily! If only people would learn from animals 😀

ImmuneFx Cancer Vaccine

This is just incredible! Finally researchers have found a way to offer pets a cancer vaccine and not a general one, but one which targets the type of cancer the animal has 😮

According to Morphogenesis, the company which developed the vaccine …

ImmuneFx cancer vaccine is a multi-indication cancer immunotherapy offered by Veterinary Oncology Services, Inc. The immune system, which normally functions to recognize, seek and destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses, does not always recognize cancer cells as “dangerous” thus allowing the cancer cells to multiply. ImmuneFx is a cancer vaccine immunotherapy that acts by “educating” the immune system to recognize cancer cells as dangerous and eliminate them. The use of ImmuneFx is not limited to any specific cancer type and has been used to treat a variety of cancers in cats, dogs and horses.

There have been no adverse reactions observed in any of the dogs, cats and horses treated with the ImmuneFx vaccine. However, as a precaution, the first time the vaccine is administered, a dose of diphenhydramine (antihistamine) is administered, and the pet is observed for at least 4 hours before being discharged. If no reaction occurs, your veterinarian will decide whether to pretreat with diphenhydramine at subsequent visits or keep the pet for observation.

The vaccine may be effective in preventing or delaying recurrence or metastases of a tumor that have been surgically removed. It may also result in a reduction of size in a tumor that cannot be surgically removed. Response to therapy may be noted as soon as 4-6 weeks after starting therapy. Although there have been remarkable successes in cases utilizing ImmuneFx, like other therapies, the ImmuneFx vaccine may be more effective in early stage disease. However, it is an exciting new treatment modality that offers improved survival in multiple types of cancer.

I’ve tried googling to see if this vaccine had been tested on ferrets but I hit a wall, so guess not 🙁

Considering our babies tend to develop so many different types of cancers, I would have thought they would have been the ideal test subject!

There is a list of veterinarians who have this vaccine – only in the US at the moment – but for you ferret owners who have a baby diagnosed with one of the many cancers, I’d suggest you call up a vet listed and ask them the question … could they treat your sick ferret!

I’ve no idea of the cost of this treatment – it’s probably not cheap – but if anyone does find a vet who will use this vaccine on their ferret, please tell me how it went.

I have fingers and toes crossed that this treatment will help our babies live to a much longer life than they do these days!

List of Vet Clinics Using ImmuneFx

 

 

Does Your Ferret Have a Rat’s Tail?

I know how scary it can be to worry about hair loss on the tail of a ferret.

The first thing which comes to mind is adrenal disease. However, for the most part, if your ferret has adrenal problems, the hair loss starts at the base of the tail and moves up on either side of the spine.

Rat’s tail is when the tail is bald from the tip up.

I’ve been asked by several readers how to clean up a ferret’s tail as quite often they see blackheads on the skin and there are also scabby areas due to their ferret biting the naked tail as it’s so itchy there.

Well, a member of my forum has given us a great tip. Her ferret got a naked, scabby tail which, as you can imagine, caused a lot of stress and worry. There was the fear of adrenal disease and blood tests, etc, but at the end of it, a ferret vet suggested the hair loss might be caused by an allergy.

He suggested that she gets a tube of Ungvita, a product which is available at any chemist here in Australia and most probably available at any drug store in the States and any pharmacy in England …

It’s a Vitamin A ointment which is for mothers & babies – good for cradlecap, dermatitis, etc – so very safe to use and she was told it wouldn’t harm her ferret if it licked the ointment off her tail.

Before and after photos show the change…

Heartspark's tail before Ungvita

Heartspark’s tail before Ungvita

Heartspark's tail after Ungvita

Heartspark’s tail after Ungvita

 

(Photos copyright Melissa Baker – used with permission)
 

So, there you go. If you find your ferret has a ratty looking tail, go and get a tube of Ungvita and put it on its tail daily. It should only take a week for you to see an improvement, with the fur growing back 😀

Ferrets are like toddlers :)

I have said on my site that ferrets are like toddlers and Eden Strong’s article in the Small Animal Channel agrees with that assessment, as shown below! LOL! 😀

For those who know ferrets, there will be a lot of nodding and laughing.  For those of you who don’t know ferrets, these points might be an eye-opener!

1. They don’t stay seated at mealtime.

Via Giphy

2. Forget trying to fold laundry when they are around!
ferrets in laundry basket

Via Sonja/Flickr

3. They always want what you are drinking.

Via Giphy

4. You need to keep an eye on them around the stairs!

Via Giphy

5. They live to play in the bathtub.

Via Giphy

6. They turn the entire house into their own personal play land.

Via Giphy

7. Jumping… there is always a lot of jumping (or Weasel War Dancing, as some people call it).

Via Giphy

8. And just when you think they have run out of energy… there is more jumping.

Via Giphy

9. At least a ball pit can provide hours of entertainment.

Via Giphy

10. Although, when they finally fall asleep they look so cute that you completely forget about the fact that they destroyed your house, and you just want to snuggle with them until they wake up.
ferret sleeping
Via blogsession.co.uk/Flickr

The last point is SO true!  I know some people say that ferrets “smell” but if kept properly, they have a slight aroma and I think most of us ferret lovers agree that there’s nothing more comforting than sticking your head in a pile of sleeping ferrets and taking a deep breathe!

Are we crazy?  Probably, but I wouldn’t change it for the world  😀