QUESTION: I tried warming up the chicken for Cloud but he still wouldn't eat it. I tried putting a bit on the tip of his mouth so he could taste it but he didn't like it and spit it out. Is there any other type of food/treats I could give him to get him interested in eating again?
Cloud has had a small bump/tumor on one of his legs since I bought him 3 years ago. It's a bit smaller than a pea and it sometimes has dried blood on it and I wipe it off. I recently discovered a similar type of bump on his head but smaller. Have you encountered this sort of thing before or do you know what it might be? I forgot to show it to the vet last time.
I talked to my parents about bringing Cloud to the vet and they are reluctant. I don't know when I will be able to bring him in but hopefully within the next couple of days. I will let you know what the vet says.
I heard about this lady who feeds her ferrets a raw meat diet and apparently they are doing very well.
I am thinking about looking into it later. What is your opinion on raw meat diets?
I also found a website that grades ferret foods based on their ingredients.
Do you think this is accurate and if I should switch to a different ferret diet?
ANSWER: Hello Anika,
Well, we have a lot to talk about, so here goes. I think the main reason Cloud is not eating is due to a cold/flu. He can't smell the food so he's not going to eat it. He doesn't know WHAT it is. I would still offer the chicken. You can, however, offer him some plain boiled chicken (no skin and NO salt). You can also try just a little salt free chicken broth. Once he can smell food again he'll begin to eat his regular food.
I don't like to feed raw meats of any kind. I want my ferrets food cooked and germ/parasite free. I don't like to take chances. Any good brand ferret food is fine, wet or dry.
Regarding Cloud's cold. Remember, I am not a vet, and Cloud DOES need to see a vet. I can only tell you what I've tried in the past. But, you can try the following treatment to see if it gives him some relief while you get your appointment set up.
Make a bowl of very warm water (NOT HOT). Dip a small soft cloth in it and squeeze it out real well. Now drape the cloth over Cloud's nose and mouth so he can breathe in the moist vapor. Be careful to stay away from his eyes. This will take some gentle patience. Do this 3 times a day. Hopefully this will help clear his nasal passages. If it seems to be helping, Do it 3 times the next day. But make sure he sees a doctor.
As far as the tumor you are seeing, I have a fuzzie that has one of these pop up every now and then. I pretty much leave them alone. In other words, I don't pick or fuss over them. The ones that seem to crust over or I can tell have bled a little, I put a tiny amount of polysporin on them and watch them closely. They usually disappear in a couple of days. You certainly want to take notice if one on them does not heal or gets larger, of course. Make sure you show this little tumor to your vet. I did have to have one removed from my little fuzzies toe.
Please keep me posted. I'll try to help as best I can.
P.S. You are a wonderful little ferret parent. Cloud is lucky to have you.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
I brought Cloud to the vet today! The vet said that Cloud is in very good health for a ferret his age. Apparently he didn't have a cold but a minor eye infection. I got some eye drops for Cloud :) The vet also said that the tumor looks harmless.
I tried to give Cloud some more chicken but he still wouldn't eat it. I think the FerretVite is giving him a bit more energy because he woke me up early in the morning.
Thanks for all your help :) I will let you know if I have any more questions,
I was SO happy to get your message this morning!!!! It's great that Cloud is not seriously ill. Keep on with the vitamins. They do help perk up an appetite and the special nutrients will also help him gain strength and energy. The main reason for the chicken is to build body weight. I wouldn't quite give up on it yet. Ferrets are often a little difficult about accepting new foods and will refuse new ones BUT I am hoping he'll accept the warm chicken as it will definitely help him put on a little weight.
You are such a wonderful little ferret owner. I hope this little hitch in Cloud's health will be the last one for a long, long time. And, though I may not hear from you again, I will think of the two of you often.