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Ferrets/vetasyl for ferrets

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Question
Dear Jacquie,  happening upon your answer to a question regarding "choking", "raspy" ferrets may have saved my ferret's life.  She's two years old, on a Wysong kibble diet, and given ferret lax and duk soup regularly.  I know ferret lax is bad for her, but was at a complete loss, as my vet wasn't able to offer advice, and it was better than the alternative - a ferret in distress.  

I am going to order Vetasyl.  May I ask how often you would recommend that I give this to my ferret for "maintenance"?  Also, how many milligrams am I looking for per capsule?  (I read you feed your ferret 1 capsule through plenty of liquids / duk soup.)  

Much gratitude,

Sarah and Peanut the ferret

Answer
Hi Sarah and Peanut:

Thanks so much for reading past replies....so few do that and their answer is often right there!  :-)  i do use Vetasyl, the contents of one capsule (throw the capsule itself away) into about a tablespoonful of Hills A/D or chicken or turkey baby food meat (meat only, not the dinners), enough water to make gravy consistency. Often will have to initially touch some to Peanut's nose and then let him livk it from your fingers to get started be ause they always resist anything new.

When I suspect even a partial blockage, scant poops, raspy coughing, dry gagging, etc, I do a 'full on treatment' which  means (making a new batch every time you feed it) feeding as much as he will eat 3 to 4 times a day for a minimum of three days.  Watch his poops for anything passed, literally take a smooth thing like piece of cardboard, a knife just for that purpose alone, whatever you use, and spread the fresh poop across a paper towel thinly. The parts that do not want to spread are the potentially blockages (or sometimes just poop that has already dried too much. A hairball will look like a little bundle of hard rolled up fur usually.  You may not see that till the third day of intensive treatment.  I have at times done the intensive treatment for up to 7 or 8 days.  Once you do start seeing stuff pass, continue feeding 3-4 times per day till you see nothing more coming out for at leat 24-hours.  This pretty well assures he has had a good cleaning out.

For maintenance, I do a three day, once a day treatment about every 3-4 weeks.  As long as he was cleaned out initially, this seems to be enough to move anything that is starting to build up through.  Again, tho, always check the poops and if you see anything in them while treating, be sure to continue to treat at least another day beyond clear poops.

I would love for you to join me on my Facebook ferret group called THUNDERING FERRET PAWS, where there are ober 200 ferret folks who all try to help each other with tips and tricks and share pictures and stories about our babies. I think you would fit in well. Lots of folks there use the Vetasyl treatments.

Since Vetasyl is basically like Metamucil but for pets, it is 100% safe to use,no need to worry about using it too often, etc., only that there is enough fluid in the soup so the Vetasyl can expand inside the digestive tract and push out whatever is causing a partial blockage.  It is simply a 'bulking agent', does not give the ferret tummyache, diarrhea or anything like that. One could probably safely use it daily, but it would become exhausting handfeeding a ferret constantly, so we try to just do it often enough to keep that intestinal tract clean and clear.  It is important to have them on a good hi protein kibble the rest of the time so they get proper nutrition.  Thats one reason I prefer Hills A/D, which you can only get at the vets office, but it is easily digested and has great nutritional value, much more so than baby food meat.

Thank you for your kind letter. I have great hopes the Vetasyl treatments will help little Peanut and on e you get him on regular maintenance, it lowers his chance of a hairball blockage dramatically.  I am always interested in knowing what eventually comes out the other end, so would love an update.  I had one ferret who had blockage surgery, but did not have big fat poops I expected after surgery, so I put him on the full on Vetasyl treatments and on Day 5 he passed a hairball the size and shape of my little finger!!! (The vet had missed the major blockage in surgery!  THAT is what sold me on these treatments...it took five days to push it out, but he had nice big fat poops after that!  :-)  I hope to see you on the Facebook ferret group!

Sincerely,
Jacquie Rodgers

Ferrets

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Jacquie Rodgers

Expertise

PLEASE READ ALL BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS... WHAT I CAN DO: Being a ferret owner for 20 years, I can answer questions re: general care, cage ideas & requirements, healthy foods and snacks, safety issues, ferretproofing play areas, common causes of intestinal blockages, appropriate housing, litterbox training, making bathtime fun, toys, games galore, outdoor trips, "Do`s and Don'ts, traveling w/ferrets by car or RV, safe environmental temperatures & keeping your ferret cool in summer (NOT A FAN!!), setting up a hospital cage, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), helicobacter (ulcers), adrenal disease symptoms & care,intestinal blockages, helping your ferret recover quickly/safely from surgery; common problems of ferret ownership, illnesses; care of sick or injured ferrets, hospice/palliative care, facing & coping with your ferret's death, choices that must be made when a ferret dies, memorializing your pet online and in your daily life. #1 TIP: FIND AN EXOTICS VET BEFORE YOU GET A VET...IF YOU WAIT, YOU MAY FIND YOU HAVE TO DRIVE UP TO 6-HRS TO GET TO A PROPER VET!..if you did not find one first, be WILLING to drive as far as possible for proper care. AND.... #2 TIP: FERRETS ARE EXPENSIVE TO FEED, HOUSE, VET & CARE FOR PROPERLY...IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ONE/OR NOT READY TO SACRIFICE, PLEASE DON'T GET ONE!! A FERRET IS NOT LIKE HAVING A CAT OR DOG!! THEY REQUIRE MORE TIME, ENERGY, CARE AND MONEY to properly care for them. Prepare to spend up to $8,000-$10,000 OVER A FERRETS LIFETIME (6 to 8 years usually) FOR NECESSITIES & VET CARE. WHAT I CAN`T DO: I can`t take the place of your ferret vet; if your ferret appears sick,PLEASE have your ferret examined by a ferret vet .TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE FOR A SICK FERRET - PLEASE, IF IN DOUBT, GET THEM TO A VET! 24- hours of a ferret not eating/drinking may kill your ferret! NEVER FORCE FEED A SICK..he may choke. Sub-Q or IV fluids from your vet who is not eating WILL help save his life IF he gets it in time.

Experience

I have nursed ferrets through many illnesses, an injury, and a variety of diseases over the years.Ferrets are so very delicate, yet incredibly strong-willed; a well-loved ferret will fight courageously to live if given proper medical care, close monitoring, and especially lots of TLC.& LOVE. A ferret can entertain for hours on end when they know they are the center of attention; and they can make even the grumpiest person laugh. They do require a LOT of time, love and daily care, but the love you give a ferret always comes back to you tenfold OR MORE!! I dedicate the time I spend helping others here to my precious little ones who have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They taught me how to laugh, to love unconditionally....and how to live each & every day to its fullest, and for that I am forever grateful.

Organizations
Yuma County Humane Society THUNDERING FERRET PAWS Facebook Ferret Group: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ PLEASE JOIN US AND GET ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCED FERRET OWNERS!

Publications
Yuma Daily Sun (local newspaper) recognition for being an outstanding ferret mom and having incredibly well-trained ferrets. I am currently working on book of ferret care to share my experience. JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ for faster answers to your questions and input from other experienced ferret owners. Lots of past questions answered on AllExperts.com that you can still reference by category. If you don't find your answer there, please submit it and I will be happy to help you :-)

Education/Credentials
I read everything I can get my hands on regarding ferrets, I learn from my great Exotics Vet, and my own experience and interactions with other ferret owners. I am writing a book on ferret care (Great Need for a CORRECT one!) never rely on a ferret book OR a website when your ferret is sick. I can help with suggestions to use IN CONJUNCTION with proper care by your exotics specialist vet (ASK when you call for an appointment whether or NOT your vet has EXPERIENCE in working with EXOTICS..if not, move on and continue to seek one. The wrong vet can KILL your ferret. I learned this early when my ferret hurt his front paw jumping off the couch...a vet, NOT EXOTICS SPECIALIST couln't handle ferret properly because he was afraid of the ferret...and ended up xraying THE WRONGBARM, telling me it was not hurt. I took xray & ferret to EXOTICS SPECIALIST VET 3-hrs away & found out the arm WAS BROKEN & wrong arm had been xrayed. THAT is how important it is to have a PROPERLY TRAINED VET FOR YOUR FERRET!

Awards and Honors
WANT TO BE A FERRET EXPERT? I serve as the resident "guru" for this category. IF YOU WISH TO VOLUNTEER IN THE FERRET CATEGORY, please email me at thunder.paw.ranch@gmail.com and request an application. All volunteers must complete a general ferret information questionaire to be a volunteer in this category. Thanks for your cooperation :-)

Past/Present Clients
I try to educate anyone who is interested in ferrets, as I take my ferrets with me in public a lot. There is a lot of MISinformation out there about ferrets that needs to be dispelled with fact, and ferret owners who need to be keep abreast of the latest and best information. FACEBOOK FERRET GROUP (OPEN): THUNDERING FERRET PAWS - Join us as we all share our pictures, stories & experience!! :-)

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