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Ferrets/My ferret charlie is not himself I recently moved it has been almost two months at first I thought he was just stressed from the move and

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Question
My ferret Charlie is not himself he still eats and drinks and uses the litter box as normal but has lost a lot of weight. I recently moved it has been almost two months now at first I thought he was just stressed from the move and then it got bad .his hair fell out almost all of it but after a few baths has come back most of the way, other than on his tail and a bit on his back. He has lost so much weight now I can see all his bones and when I let him out for play time he only stays out for a half hour at the longest . I have been giving him chicken and turkey baby food to help him get some weight back but it doesn't seem to be helping. He has a cage mate Sassy and they are both about 5 years old. Sassy however is fine the only change in her is she seems more bored now that Charlie doesn't want to play as much so she  plays for about 4 hours now rather than her usual three. If you could help me figure out what could help Charlie or even help me to figure out what is wrong with him it would be greatly appreciated.  I would kind of like to avoid the trip to the vet if possible because the closest one I can find is three hours away and I don't want to stress Charlie out with that long of a car ride unless I have to. Thank you.

Answer
Dear Shellby,

Your question is a difficult one.  Ferrets live for an average of five to seven years.  What you may be seeing could be the results of old age (getting thin, lost hair, etc.)  But, it could also be the result of disease.  You are doing the right thing by adding the baby food to Charlie's diet.  You might want to try Gerber Junior Ham & Gravy.  It's what I've used to promote weight gain with my aging ferrets and it's worked very well.  And, right now, and I mean right now, purchase a tube of FerretVite vitamins.  Follow the directions to the T.

Sadly, I must tell you that Charlie needs a trip to the vet.  Don't delay.  You'll get the professional advice and care instructions that Charlie needs right now.

It sounds to me like you've been a wonderful ferret owner.  And, if it turns out that Charlie is just getting old, you can be assured that you've taken care of him very well.

Best of luck to you, Shellby.  Charlie is lucky to have such a loving mom.

Warm Regards,

Janet  

Ferrets

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Janet Russek

Expertise

I can answer questions re: Feeding(keeping that body weight up) General Care, Safety, Behavior, Best Cages, Proper Toys, Dangers to Ferrets (ferret proofing your home), Play Area/Room Suggestions.

Experience

I've raised ferrets very successfully for approximately twelve years. I usually kept three at a time. I presently have one. I've tried a variety of cages, habitats, toys, treats.

Education/Credentials
Highschool grad with some college.

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