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Ferrets/Recently lost ferret



I had to put to rest my Goofy and I am having a very hard time accepting he's gone i have never had to make a decision like that, he had insulinoma. He was diagnosed in April 2014 he was about 6 years old. the Dr didn't think surgery was a good idea with his age, so he started him on prednisone and he  recommend giving him kitten food or baby food along with his normal food, i did Gerber's chicken and turkey baby food he like that better.  And it worked for awhile, but then in October he started having more episodes some i could snap him out of with syrup to his gums and get his medicine and food into him and then he was back up and roaming. But one day he had a really bad one, he was stuck in the corner of the cage he had messed all over himself i got him out and cleaned him up he was walking in circles, so we took him to the vet thinking it was time to put him to sleep. But when we got the vet they worked with him for a bit and so the Dr recommend first upping the prednisone and still give the baby food bc it worked well. He was doing good, but i did notice over the past several months he slowed down playing with Bell our other ferret, he slept more and id open his cage to give him his food and meds after he was done he would go right back in his hammock so i would have to take him out so he could play, he trouble climbing and when he did climb he had trouble jumping down, but he still ate and drank and roamed around in good spirits. But in December he had 2 episodes that lasted a few minutes and with giving meds and food and sitting with him, he was ok. Some nights i noticed his back legs were giving out and another night he was frantically walking in circles, so i wrapped him a blanket till he calmed down. The last episode was Jan 1st, he was out of it, drooling and he messed himself as i was holding him and he let out a whine or cry as he peed, again walking in circles, this one i couldn't help him out of it,  i tried so hard talking to him trying to get his meds in him but he could get him to take them or the baby food, i did get  him syrup on his gums and nothing i was petting him and it seemed every touch hurt, he then curled up and he was shivering.  after an hour of trying to get him out of it we decided it was time.. and we  took him to the emergency vet care and said our goodbyes. Since, i have been an emoional train wreck, i keep wondering was there anything else i could have done to help him? Could the vet giving him fluids and meds to help him come round that day? Ive been online non stop just reading all about the disease and treatments, even though i did this when he was first diagnosed. A lot of articles say insulinoma does not cause the ferrets pain also the noises they make when their having the episodes aren't from pain, but to me he looked as he was scared and in some sort of discomfort. Articles even  made it seem even with giving medicine  and round clock feedings  a ferret can still have an episode, and they say when that happens they did just as i did, give medicine and syrup and food or water and it can take 15 or 45mins or even an hour or longer for the ferret to come around and then take him to the vet to be checked out, some stories were similar to what went trough with my Goofy, and still they make it seem ferrets can live a normal life like that, how is that normal? i did everything i knew to do for him, some peoples stories about helping their ferrets through this disease, by actually syringe feeding them and having to physcally put them in their litter boxes and letting them die at home on their own? I would not have waited to see Goofy go through that, I keep going over it all in my head, Was I to quick to decide that day?  should i have waited little longer, tried harder to get his medicine and food into him, try a diff medicine, even though goofy was older should he have gotten surgery? Was it the right time, did i save him from further suffering? Or did he have more time left? Just really having a hard time accepting it.

Hi Tina

First, let me apologize because I just now received your question and you certainly deserved a timely reply to your questions.  The AllAexperts system sometimes just does not work as it should.  For that reason I have started a ferret group in n a Facebook called THUNDERING FERRET PAWS....and I would
Ike to invite you to join us there, where your questions can be answered by either myself or the over 100 other ferret owners, many with a LOT of experience, some rescue ferret moms and even a vet or two.

Secondly, from what I read, you certainly did the right thing by putting your precious little guy out of his misery.  Obviously he was suffering, and I would have done exactly as you did, so please stop kicking yourself and wondering.  Only God knows when his time was really up, but you loved him enough to recognize how much he was suffering and put a merciful stop to it.  I would probably have done it sooner than you did, actually, but everyone is different and YOU knew your ferret best. Obviously you loved him dearly to do all that you did and I believe your decision was a wise one.

There is a great website at where you can read the Rainbow Bridge poem, which I believe will comfort you and you can also write a memorial about Goofy and even post his picture.  All my deceased ferrets are remembered on there.  There is a Monday Night Candlelight Ceremony where people from all over the world gather on the site, light candles and remember their deceased pets. You will find much comfort there...I certainly have.  I hope you will go, check it out and submit a memorial (free) for Goofy.

Again, I apologize that you are just now receiving a reply when you were in so much pain.  I wish I could have been here for you.  Please join me on the a Facebook group.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Jacquie Rodgers


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Jacquie Rodgers


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.


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.


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:!/groups/thundering.ferret.paws/ for faster answers to your questions and input from other experienced ferret owners. Lots of past questions answered on 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 :-)

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!

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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 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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