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Question
 Franko the ferret
Franko the ferret  
Hello,
I just bought a ferret for the first time. He is a young male. I have done a lot of research and read that diet is critical. He is getting marshals feed with water mixed in. He seems very thin. I can feel his hip an spine. Normal?
My next question is that can you give me any emergency MEDS? I raise many animals and keep vit. But complex, penecillin, bounce back, nutradrench, and red cell all on handed if needed.
What food treats can he have?

Thanks

Answer
Hello Emily, it's very nice to meet you.  You are wise to do research on ferrets but don't get carried away, love.  I am confident that you will be a wonderful ferret owner.  And, I will always be here to offer any advice and info that I can.

I am not a vet so I can't prescribe meds or give medical advice but I have lots of experience in raising and caring for these furry little friends.  Many times if I know the symptoms I can tell you what I think and what steps you might consider.

First of all I am wondering why you are mixing water with the ferret food.  Because a ferret's metabolism is so high they need to nibble throughout the day.  So, you need to make sure there is always food in Franko's bowl (he is darling, by the way).  There is a chance that the wet food may spoil if left down for too long.  It's best to leave the food dry.  Marshals food is fine.

In addition, make sure Franko gets his vitamins.  Ferret vitamins contain nutrients that are not contained in their regular food; at least not as much as they need.  I use FerretVite but any good brand that you can get at your pet store is fine.  Make sure you follow the dosage directions.  An overdose of vitamins will cause diarrhea and that can be a serious problem for these little guys.

Ferrets always seem to be a little bony.  I have a little guy that my vet considers chubby but I can still feel his little hip bones and his spine.  I watch him carefully though because there are a couple of things you can do to promote weight gain.  The vitamins will help, Emily, so if you don't have them already make it a point to get them.

As far as treats, I only give my ferrets little slivers of plain boiled chicken (absolutely no salt).  I boil a small chicken breast, cut it up, put some in a container in the fridge and freeze the rest.  There are ferret treats you can get at the pet store but give them sparingly.  Sometimes a ferret will refuse to eat his regular food and "hold out" for the treats.  

NEVER give your little guy fruits or veggies.  Ferrets are carnivores and their digestive systems can not process fruits or veggies properly.

You didn't ask but clean the cage with white vinegar and water.  3 parts water and 1 part vinegar.  ear mites hate vinegar.  And, white vinegar does kill some germs and gets rid of little ferret odors.  The vinegar smell goes away as soon as it drys and it's harmless to your furry little friend.  Wow, I have so much to share so, as you come across questions let me know.

I hope I've been of some help, Emily.  Keep up the good work.

Warm Regards,
Janet

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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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