The only reason we have two ferrets is because we have a 13 year old daughter.
My husband built an amazing complex for the ferrets where their cage is partly inside my daughters closet, and partly outside. It keeps the smell (mostly) outside.
Those ferrets have they got the life.
I got to wondering, could they be useful keeping out snakes, gophers, and mice? So I experimented with opening the door to their outside cage and letting them run loose a bit around the garden.
Now, if the truth be told – us “parents” didn’t really mind if the ferrets happened to disappear while on one of these outside jaunts. In fact, there was some private cheering on of this prospect.
No such luck.
FiFi (the chocolate colored one) turns out to be a bit of a hunter. She completely astonished my daughter who never thought that cute adorable, sweet, little FiFi was a killer.
But killer she is. And FiFi gets into all kinds of adventures. She came home the other week with her head swollen to twice its normal size.
FiFi, you shouldn’t have gone down that hole.
My daughter learned a bit about nursing and FiFi is now completely fine.
But the latest thing is that CoCo (the whitish one) has become emaciated. She won’t eat her ferret food, she grinds her teeth compulsively, and barely moves. Those little creatures drop weight so quickly!
By the time it got around to parental notice, CoCo was in critical condition. I immediately got my daughter on an hourly schedule to dropper feed her bone broth and spoon feed raw butter.
The ferrets love butter treats and I am so glad now that I started that.
OK, so yes, I admit that I got to where I was giving the ferrets treats.
But I have to say, they really are sooooo cute!
So CoCo is in bad shape. My daughter continues to call vets – but we live in horse and cattle country and the usual response is “A what? and why do you have one of those?” or something like that.
If CoCo doesn’t turn around soon, we will try giving her fluids subcutaneously to try and help re-hydrate her. After watching a zillion YouTube videos, we found this one and felt it was the best. It was created by the Princeton Animal Shelter and I send many thanks to them for producing it.
The video is for treating a cat, and ferrets have thicker skin. But it gets the message across very effectively.
Now we don’t have all the fancy equipment they have, and a ferret apparently only needs a few cc’s of fluids, so we will probably just do it with a standard needle and plunger without all the bag and tubing.
My question to you is, do you think you could do this? Is it something that would freak you out – or is it no sweat, just like giving the dogs their shots?
I’ve gotten quite attached to the stinky little buggers.
Below is the video.
UPDATE: CoCo recovered very well and is happily (in that joyous way that only ferrets can do) running about and finding more trouble to get into.
We probably really didn’t need to do the sub Q injections for re-hydration, but it did help significantly.
I have been quite surprised at the comments (below) that I am a horrible person for letting CoCo get sick. Hmm, well – letting her run around outside where she could meet with a snake. Well, you know, they are ferrets and they love going down holes and digging in the dirt. Note for the record that we never feed them sugar or treats other than occasionally some butter. For any carnivore, fat is a delicacy and a necessity.
Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of “homegrown food on every table.” Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her “Grow Your Own Groceries” video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.