Ferrets/Ferret Weight Problems.
i got my ferret from a pet store about a year ago now. when i first got him he was a good weight. but over the last probably 4 months he has been having issues. he got diarrhea and stared to lose weight and wasn't eating much. our vet said to give him some pepto twice a day for like a week and that started to help. we had also been force feeding him with a syringe. he gained some weight back and started to eat on his own again. then it went back down hill. so we took him back to the vet and she offered him two different types of food. he absolutely LOVED one of the and chowed down on it. so i started to feel that to him. but then he just recently lost interest in it and is back to being way too thin. he was probably a little over 2lbs when i first got him. and he is now (from what i weighed the other day) 1lb 5oz.
i'm REALLY worried and was wondering what you may think it is?
I'm glad you asked your question. Since your furry little friend has seen his vet and there doesn't seem to be any "medical" issue I have two suggestions. Please remember that I am not a vet, I can only offer suggestions that have worked for me. 1) You didn't mention if your little guy is getting vitamins. If he is, make sure you're not over-dosing him. Too much will cause diarrhea and that can lead to other problems. Make sure you follow the vitamin dosage directions carefully. If your little guy is not getting vitamins, start now. Ferret vitamins contain important nutrients that their regular ferret food does not. 2) I've dealt with ferret weight issues my self and I've found that baby food meat helps a great deal. I use Gerber Junior Ham & Gravy. You may also try small slivers of plain boiled chicken - no salt. Try serving about a full teaspoon of the warm baby food along side his regular ferret food breakfast each morning. Be careful when you warm it to mix it around with your finger to make SURE there are no hot spots in it. You can also put his vitamins next to the food as well. He may become a little spoiled by the baby food but don't worry. He'll soon learn to eat both breakfast foods each morning. After breakfast just make sure his bowl contains his regular ferret food so he can nibble at will throughout the day.
Also make sure your little friend gets enough socialization with you. I know, they have the attention span of a gnat but they clearly recognize their owners and have a strong need to spend time with you. They also need to spend time out of their cage. You can adapt an extra bedroom or other space (blocked off kitchen) to a ferret play-time area. Just make sure you ferret-proof it. You wouldn't want your little guy to get behind your fridge, stove, or dish-washer. Empty boxes with holes cut in, small plastic bottles with a few bells inside, etc. make great toys. Even if you just sit on the floor and watch him play, he definitely knows that you are there. Ferrets do become depressed and may not eat if they are left alone for too long.
It's obvious that you are a great ferret owner. You're trying all that you can and your little guy is lucky to have you. I hope I've been of some help. Write to me again if you need. I am here and I'm concerned for the two of you.