Thursday, February 28, 2013

Are We Jeopardizing Our Pet’s Health?

I watched The Doctors yesterday, February 27, 2013; the show was titled Guilty Pleasures Jeopardizing your Health.

I am sure most of us try to eat healthy and avoid the sugar trap. I found that many of the foods we think are healthy really aren’t. The most disturbing fact was that most of us consume 150 pounds of sugar a year. The recommended about is 34 pounds. That equals out to 6 tablespoons of sugar daily for women and men get to consume 9 tablespoons.

Most of us blow those amounts out of the water with our first can of soda or with our daily coffee intake. One can of soda has 10 tablespoons of sugar.

These facts got me thinking about our pets and how much sugar do we give them unknowingly? We know that sugar plays a role in obesity, diabetes, and it has also been suspected as part of heart disease.

Most of us know to read labels on the foods we eat and some of us have started reading the labels on our pet’s food as well. The problem is that our food is required to have a nutrition facts panel that must have specific things such as serving size, the amount servings per contain/package, and the amounts per serving and what the recommended daily value.

One of these facts is the amount of sugars. Example did you know that a serving of Cheez-It® has 0 grams of sugar.

But most pet food labels have what is called the Guaranteed Analysis.

“At minimum, many state regulations require a pet food to guarantee the minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and the maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture. The "crude" term refers to the specific method of testing the product, not to the quality of the nutrient itself.” Pet Food Labels – General

Typical Guaranteed Analysis for a Good Ferret Diet

Crude protein


Crude fat









It is normal to see the following ingredients in ferret food.

Chicken by-products, herring meal, corn, cod fish, animal liver, dried beet pulp, brewer's dried yeast, cane molasses, salt, sodium propionate, DL-methionine, L-lysine, taurine, vitamin A, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, niacin, biotin, choline chloride, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, BHA, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (a source of vitamin K), D calcium pantothenate, manganese oxide, inositol, ascorbic acid, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, cobalt carbonate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite.

You can see there is no mention of the amount of sugar on the Guarantee Analysis. For ferrets that develop Insulinoma these ingredients can play a devastating role.

One of the ingredients Brewer’s Yeast is used to lower blood sugar which is something we don’t want to do in a ferret with insulinoma as his/her blood sugar is already low due to having too much insulin in his/her blood stream.

The other ingredient is cane molasses, which is a byproduct of white sugar, and the gram amount is 55-70 per 100 grams of molasses.

Just by having these two ingredients, we are causing a blood sugar drop only to have it spike again in our ferrets.

It would be interesting to know if these two ingredients could be causing the Insulinoma to show up in so many ferrets over the age of three.

Learning what goes into our pet’s food needs to become as high of a priority as knowing what is in our own food. By learning this we can better help our pets live longer and have happier lives.

What is your opinion? Of this list of ingredients do you know what they do or where they come from?

Have a Chittering Good Day,


Monday, February 25, 2013

Did You Know?

Did you know that in 2011 there were only 75 board certified veterinarian dentists in the United States?

Did you know that most people believe that hard food and chew toys will keep a pet’s teeth and mouth free of cavities and other dental problems?

Did you know that ferret teeth grow from the tip up?

Did you know that the pulp inside a ferret’s tooth does not grow all the way down in the tooth?

Did you know that baby ferrets called kits have 30 teeth by the time they are 3 months old and should have lost their baby teeth by the time they are 9 months old?

Did you know that adult ferrets have 34 teeth?

Have a Chittering Good Day,


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cinnamon Update



About a week ago, I let you know about little Cinnamon a year old yorkie that had been hit by a car and required surgery for his injuries. Here is the update on this little survivor. (Cue the song I will survive)


Thanks to the people at Save a Yorkie Rescue  Cinnamon was taken to Dr. Christopher from Metropolitan Vet Hospital near King of Prussia, PA  to be put back together.


Dr. Christopher and his associates rebuilt this tiny pup. They had to fix a broken femur, a dislocated hip, and basically recreate his shattered pelvis. While he isn’t the six million dollar pup, his medical bill is in the thousands.


The fear was this little guy wouldn’t make it through surgery and if he the prognosis of him walking or even being able to go to the bathroom on his own was unknown.


Not only did this seven-pound fur ball make it through the surgery he has defied the odds and is up and walking and going to the bathroom on his own.cinnamon

He will be on pain meds for a while and shows his displeasure at being handled with some growls and snaps. I think I would be the same way with the number of staples in my backside.


Cinnamon will be available for adoption after February 23 if you or someone you know would love to help this adorable fellow who has kicked the dirt into the face of certain death. You can submit your application here.


Or if you would like to help decrease his large medical bill, you can donate here.


Please help this little guy get adopted by passing this along to others. Thank you.

Have a Chittering Good Day,


Wordless Wednesday: Walking

FashonableFerrets 030 FashonableFerrets 018 FashonableFerrets 021 FashonableFerrets 022 FashonableFerrets 023 FashonableFerrets 026 FashonableFerrets 029

Have a Chittering Good Day,


Monday, February 18, 2013


Getting sponsorship can be downright hard and very time consuming. I know this from experience but sometimes you can forget that even one small gesture can be sponsorship.

I’ve been able to attend the last two Blog Paws because someone paid for my registration and I was able to room with a fantastic person.

While Salt Lake Blog Paws was a great event, I ended up with a bad migraine that left me off balance and very much off my game. I forgot to thank my friends for their generosity and it wasn’t until I was called on the carpet when I got my first hotel room sponsorship from a different source. Something I plan to fix when I see my two friends this time in Washington D.C. in May.

I’ve heard that many people want to go to Blog Paws this year but don’t know how to swing the funds.

My advice is to decide what companies you would like to work with and how you benefit them.

What do you like about the company that you are willing to promote that will show them in a good light to others?

The biggest thing to remember is not what is in it for you but what does sponsoring you get them.

Have you worked with them before? If so, bring that up and tell them you would like to be their representative at Blog Paws or the event you want to go to.

Not all companies can afford to give you a full ride so break down what each part of the conference cost. Registration, Travel expense, Hotel are the big three and if one company can only pay for one part then see if another can pick up another part and see if you can help them out some with your own funds.

Check out the Blog Paws Community for rides and roomies.

If you are lucky enough to be sponsored make it a point to thank them in every post that deals with Blog Paws or whatever event they are sending you to.

Learn how to link to parts of their site to allow others to see why you like the company. Show the company what social media can do for them if they don’t have their own blog, Facebook, or twitter account you might become their correspondent on these platforms.

Expect to hear the word No a lot.

I have several emails that say that in both polite and hostile ways. If you get one that says not at this time return to that company later remind them who you are and what you bring to the table. Maybe all you will get is an offer to work with you only on your blog or do a guest post on the company’s blog it is a start but it will get you noticed.

If you do get a nasty no take a deep breath and walk away from your email and let the emotions out in some other form than writing back in anger.

The person on the other end may have gotten some rotten news and is taking it out on the first email they get. We don’t know what is going on in that person’s life at that moment it is just best to put that email away in a folder or the trash can and move on to the next company you want to work with.

Think outside the box while a tired and overused saying still has merit in the world of sponsorship.

What ideas have you used to get to an event?

Have a Chittering Good Day,



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Save a Yorkie named Cinnamon

I don’t normally write about other critters unless they somehow relate to ferrets so this is a completely different kind of post for me.

Roomie, Judy, started fostering at the beginning of the year in hopes of helping her adopted puppy mill rescue Ariel FashonableFerrets 020 learn how to be a dog.

At the moment, she is fostering CurlyFashonableFerrets 071 who is a seven-year-old yorkie who has cataracts and diabetes and requires insulin twice a day.

She received an urgent email from Save a Yorkie Rescue about another little yorkie named Cinnamon.

Little Cinnamon was surrendered after being hit by a car. This little guy is just a year old and is suffering from one dislocated hip, one  broken hip, along with his pelvis.

As of this writing, we don’t know if he has made it through the surgery that was scheduled for yesterday (February 13, 2013) but the rescue has paid out the large sum of $3000 as a down payment for the surgery and will be owing another $3000 for his care during his recovering if he survived the surgery.

The reality is that Cinnamon may come out of the surgery paralyzed, permanently incontinent  which will make it harder for this little fighter to be adopted.


Knowing that I have many readers who understand special need pets I am hoping that some of you can help this wonderful rescue out by donating to his care even if it is $5 as it does add up and help pass this along so that Cinnamon might find the right forever home.



By clicking on the Save a Yorkie Rescue logo you will be taken to Cinnamon’s page where you can make a donation.


Have a Chittering Good Day,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Napping Ferret Style

FashonableFerrets 041


How many ferrets do you see?


Have a Chittering Good Day,




Are you sure there is only 2? Check out the photo after it has been lightened some.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pet teeth

All pets should have their teeth brushed to prevent many periodontal diseases that can cause other health issues such as Heart disease, Kidney problems, and digestive issues.

With preventative dental care given by both the pet owner and the pet’s vet these issues may be lessened or eliminated. The data about dental issues for ferrets is that 95% of them show some signs of periodontal disease.

Brushing your pet’s teeth may seem like an unnecessary chore because you are under the impression that the hard kibble you feed is cleaning your pet’s teeth. Think about all the things you eat throughout the day would you want to go a day without brushing your teeth at least once?

We as pet parents need to get past the outdated notion that we only have to worry about their teeth only when a problem shows up that can lead to unseen expense or issues that could have been prevented or have a better outcome.

Think about it this way we schedule yearly dental exams for our children and ourselves and some of us do the six-month check up. We brush our teeth anywhere from two to 3 times a day. If our teeth start to hurt, we make a dentist appointment immediately to get rid of the pain. So why should our pets be any different?

Our pets depend on us to know what to do for them beyond the scope of monitoring their bathroom, eating habits, and their medical needs.

One of the more serious dental issues for our pets is Stomotitis, which is the medical jargon for inflammation of the oral cavity and can lead to the removal of some teeth and in extreme cases all the teeth like our friend Mario da Cat

We as pet owners need to be aware of our pet’s mouth and by brushing their teeth weekly if not daily allows us to see any changes that we might miss if we only rely on the annual vet check up.

When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

How often do you look into your pet’s mouth?

Who was is considered the father of microbiology?


Have a Chittering Good Day,


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Video


Have a Chittering Good Day,


And the Answer Is…

I asked on Friday what the one supplement do we all need. The answer is Taurine. For the most part humans and dogs can produce this amino acid naturally from the foods they eat but cats and ferrets are unable to produce it and need to have it added to their diets.

Taurine helps maintain healthy eyesight and studies are showing that it has an important role in keeping the heart healthy along with preventing tooth decay in cats and because there isn’t a lot of research published I can only conclude that the same may be true with ferrets.


Have a Chittering Good Day,