Monday, September 21, 2009

Upright and Breathing

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. The flu hit our house and literally knocked me on my behind. Sitting up was a major chore and taking care of my fur kids a challenge because ferrets are susceptible to the flu. Not only can they catch it they can give it to you. Most people don’t know if they have a cold or the flu so it is best that you take precautions to help reduce the risk of infecting your fur child or someone else’s.
Common sense is the major player in keeping your ferrets healthy and flu free, it is still possible for them to get the flu. Wash your hands before and after handling ferrets or anything that might expose them to the virus. If you are actively sneezing, wear a mask. Yes, they are uncomfortable and get gross if you do sneeze but you will be glad that you didn’t spread those nasty little germs.
How can you tell if your ferret has the flu? Just like humans, they get all the same symptoms. Watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and/or diarrhea are some of the symptoms. About all you can do is watch and treat them like a small child with the flu. Keep up the water and if your ferret doesn’t seem to be eating it maybe that they can’t smell the food. Put some in a microwaveable bowl with some water and warm it up. Mash and serve. Warming the food enhances the odor so it can penetrate the nostrils and the softness of the food makes it easier to eat. Kind of like the chicken soup idea for humans.
If your ferret has severe diarrhea and/or hasn’t been drinking at all call your vet to have him/her checked to be sure it isn’t turning into pneumonia. I am still not 100% but at least my fur children are healthy and happy to play as long as I can let them.
With that being said, I wouldn't look for another post for a while.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hide and Seek Ferret Style

     I try to blog about ferrets at least three times a week. Sometimes I make that goal and others I don’t. This last week it looked like I was going to meet that goal until I sat down to write out my notes.

     My notebook is missing. I know where I had put it and now there is no sign of it. Only ones that could have taken it are my fur kids. I’ve looked in all the usual hide-holes but no luck.

     One has to understand a ferret’s mindset when it comes to taking things. Its all just a game and if it smells, tastes, or looks like mom’s they have to have it at all costs. Gweny will take my shoes off my feet if she can and is rather persistent about it. Although she hides each one in a different place you know exactly where to look to retrieve them.

     Lance its socks. He will try to take them off my feet if he can’t find any more of his rolled socks to move. Again he has his hidey-hole although it isn’t really a hole. He always puts them on the other side Judy’s recliner in plain view. Lance has taken a liking to Trixie’s new dog toy but hasn’t decided if it should go with his stash.

     Now James is the true thief. Anything that the other two don’t steal he does and he has a multitude of hidey-holes. His newest obsession is the zebra print hand bag I got at the dollar store. I would place bets that he is the one that took my note book except that it isn’t in any of his hidey-holes either.

     Luckily I don’t just keep a single writing notebook for this very reason but it gets tedious looking some things back up when the link or information was saved some where else. I know it will someday just show up in the middle of the floor like an unexpected present with all three kids dancing for joy around it cause they hid it so well. Got to love those silly bouncing fur kids.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Green Slime

     Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE) is one of the few gastrointestinal problem a ferret can have over the age of one year. ECE has only been recognized since 1993 and as of yet there are no tests. It is believed to be viral.

     ECE causes diarrhea that has a green slime to it. Some have likened it to the smell and look of fish glue which is made from boiled fish skins. ECE runs its course normally in five to seven days. It can be debilitating to some ferrets who have lost dehydration from vomiting and the slimy diarrhea. Ferrets that don’t have fluid supplementation it can prove to be fatal.

     ECE can be transmitted from an infected ferret to others. ECE also can be transmitted by human contact with an infected ferret via their hands, clothes, and shoes. ECE can be prevented by isolating new ferrets from the older ones for a week or two and by washing your hands after handling unknown ferrets. By changing your clothes and shoes will limit exposure to your own ferret.

     If your ferret shows signs of ECE and is unable to keep any kind of fluids down or has excessive diarrhea you need to take him/her to your vet as dehydration in a ferret can happen quickly and with out I.V. hydration therapy ECE could prove to be fatal to your fur kid.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pet Bill in Congress!!!

     There is a bill sitting in Congress right now that would allow pet owners to take a tax deduction for their pet up to $3500. A pet owner would have to meet the criteria for his/her pet. Meaning they have ownership and it is alive. This deduction would be for the health care costs of the pet.

     It is called Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) act. Bill number H.R. 3501. If passed it would be in effect by December 31 2009 meaning that the tax year 2010 pets could be claimed on the 2010 tax forms.

     This bill is designed to promote responsible pet care. It does not apply to the acquisition of a pet but for the medical care of one’s pet. Contact your local representative and tell them you want this bill passed for all the pet owners in the United States.