2014 Camping With Ferrets

Summer of 2013 I decided I would take Bandit and Turnip (Radish wasn’t born yet) out camping with me, I’d never taken pets camping before so I wasn’t quite sure how exactly it would go. First thing was figuring out what exactly was required for camping with ferrets. The ferret specific supplies I took were; Food/Water dishes, Water bottle, Ferret food, Guinea pig cage (it was smaller to make living in a tent more convenient), Mini litter box (for the smaller cage), Hammock bed and hanging tunnel (they still needed to be comfortable), Leashes!

At night they slept in the Guinea pig cage with us in the tent, locked (unlocked Bandit could escape within 5 minutes..), before bed I did allow them to roam the tent for a while.

Bed Time!

During the day we put their harnesses on so they could explore but close enough to keep an eye out for unfriendly animals (there’s many birds, and other dogs around). They really enjoyed the many smells and sounds, although Turnip was a little shy of how open it was.

Once they discovered the picnic bench was essentially a large ferret shelter, they basically were determined to spend the entire day under there watching and smelling.

Picnic Table of Safety

Ferrets have very short attention spans, and pretty poor near sight (apparently it’s good far away – according to my vet), after a while of under the picnic bench adventure they noticed the tree line. Which commenced an almost impossible attempt from keeping them from running towards it. I suppose it’s just a natural feeling, but whenever I took Bandit out for walks she always tried to escape into the trees no matter where we were. I figure it’s to keep her safe from the birds overhead, I would put them away thinking they’re too nervous (cage in the shade and tons of water) but then she’d scratch until I let her out again.

Runaway Bandit

Turnip was only four months into being part of the family at this point, so I’m unsure of whether or not he’s been outside, which is why for him I was a lot more cautious with how he was feeling.

Later on we visited some friends staying at a cabin close by (and by close I mean a bit of a drive but there was a beach!) Although pets were not allowed on the sand, I did take them near by at least. With all the people here it was a lot louder than the campground and way more food smells,

Curious Bandit

It looks like they’re further away because of a little hill, the trees gave shade and it was waaaay less crowded.

Monsters on the Beach

Bandit became the scout while Turnip was determined to protect her, it was pretty adorable. They stuck together adventuring, then both came back to cuddle on my lap after a bit.

Being Distracted

On the way home miss Bandit slept the whole way, She was pleasantly exhausted 🙂

Sleepy Bandit

Introducing: Rose Family Business

If you have noticed a few extra posts in the last few days on the point of view of one of the Manitoba Ferret Association’s members family, that’s me! Time has become too scarce to entertain my own blog full time. As well my business and I are moving to England!

Hope you enjoy reading about the Rose Family Business adventures!

Choosing a Ferret Friendly Vet

Choosing a Ferret Friendly Vet

This is a very good article on how to choose your vet.The MFA couldn’t say it better! Go to our website for a list of ferret wise veterinary clinics as recommended by our membership. When using our list of recommend ed vets, always ask if there is a vet on staff that specializes in ferrets because vets do change clinics from time to time and it would be impossible for us to keep up with the changes!

Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

 

Choosing a veterinarian that is right for you and your ferret is not always easy. You want to find a veterinarian with whom you and your pet can feel comfortable and can build a trusting relationship. And you want to find that veterinarian before you get a ferret – the veterinarian can advise you on what to look for in a healthy ferret. If you have moved or for some other reason need to change veterinarians, find a new veterinarian before your ferret becomes ill. 

Types of veterinary practices… 

Different types of veterinary practices exist. Those that provide care to companion animals include the following: 

Small animal practice: These veterinarians work mainly with dogs and cats. Many also care for ferrets, pocket pets, reptiles, and birds. 

Mixed animal practice: These veterinarians are commonly found in more rural areas as they work with pets as well as horses, cattle, and other farm animals.

 

Emergency clinics: These clinics are very helpful in the event an emergency occurs outside of your veterinarian’s regular office hours. They do not typically handle routine check-ups, vaccinations, or spays/neuters. Emergency clinics may also see patients who need 24-hour care or exams with specialized equipment to perform procedures such as ultrasonography or endoscopy that the veterinarians in the surrounding area do not have at their facilities. 

Exotics clinics: These veterinarians specialize in caring for pocket pets, reptiles, birds, ferrets, and species other than dogs and cats. 

Avian clinics: These veterinarians specialize in companion bird health. 

Cat only clinics: These veterinarians limit their practice to cats only. 

Mobile practices: Some veterinarians will travel to your house to treat your pet, just like some travel to farms to treat farm animals. 

The veterinarians that limit the species of patients to which they provide care, such as ‘cat-only,’ are able to devote more time to learning about that particular species. This allows for more in-depth knowledge of disease processes in that species. In many multi-doctor practices, the doctors have individual interests which they pursue. They are available to consult with other doctors in the clinic on those subjects. 

Where to find a veterinarian… 

Ask friends, family members, and co-workers that have pets: 

Where do they take their pets, and why?

 

Do they like the location? 

Is the staff friendly, and do they seem knowledgeable? 

Does the doctor fully explain the diagnosis, treatment plan, and expected outcome of a disease? 

Are they comfortable asking the doctor questions? 

Ferret clubs: Ferret clubs may be a good source of information when looking for a veterinarian. 

Local directories: The yellow pages or business pages of a phone book normally will provide information on local veterinarians’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. 

Things to look for when visiting a veterinary clinic… 

Office hours and emergencies: 

What are the regular office hours? 
What hours are the doctors available for appointments? 
How are emergencies handled during business hours? 
How are emergencies handled after hours and on holidays? 
How long does it take to get an appointment for a wellness exam versus a ‘sick pet’ appointment? 

Veterinarian and staff: 

How are questions over the phone handled? 
Are the staff knowledgeable and courteous? 
Are phone calls answered quickly? 
Are you put on ‘hold’ for long periods of time? 
Can you see a specific doctor if you are at a multi-doctor practice? 
Do you feel comfortable with the receptionist, technician, and doctor?

 

Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

 

Fees and payment:

 

Do not make cost your determining factor when choosing a veterinarian. It is very difficult to compare costs for medical services because every veterinarian practices differently. Expect to pay a fair price for the services received. In a critical situation, cost is usually not your first concern, so choose quality care above all else. Your pet is more than a financial investment. Along with cost, find out:

 

What methods of payment are accepted?

When is payment due?

Are credit cards accepted?

 

Services:

 

What types of services are available?

Medical exams?

Surgery, including orthopedic?

Dentistry?

Radiology (x-rays)?

Ultrasonography?

Endoscopy?

Nutrition counseling?

Laboratory testing?

Are the veterinarians willing to refer pets to specialists? If so, whom?

Do they have auxiliary services such as boarding?

 

Facilities:

 

Is the practice clean and neat?

Are there unpleasant odors?

Are the grounds well kept?

Is the facility in a good location and easy for you to get to?

 

Professional affiliations:

 

Are the doctors members of professional associations including those related to “exotic” animals?

Is the hospital an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) associated hospital?

Do the veterinarians regularly attend conferences and other continuing education programs?

 

As part of your search, pay a visit to the facilities you are interested in and have a tour. Make appointments to meet the veterinarians. If your ferret has ongoing medical or behavioral problems, find out if the veterinarian is comfortable in treating those problems.

 

Hopefully, your ferret will have a healthy life and never need a specialist, but if a specialist is needed, they are available. Some veterinarians will have a special interest in certain areas of medicine or surgery and specialize in it. If they are board-certified, it means that they have studied and have passed board-certification exams in that specialty.

 

Specialists

 

The following is a partial list of specialties that have board-certification:

 

Internal medicine: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that involve the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

 

Surgery – orthopedic and soft tissue: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that need surgery to repair such as back surgery, complicated fractures, or abdominal surgery.

 

Dermatology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders including allergies.

 

Oncology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers.

 

Radiology: Specializing in reading x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.

 

Cardiology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases.

 

Ophthalmology: Specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders.

 

Conclusion

 

The relationship between you, your pet, and your veterinarian will hopefully last many years, so take time to find the right ‘fit.’ Since you will need to be able to discuss your pet’s symptoms, test results, and treatment options with your veterinarian, good communication is of utmost importance. Find a clinic with veterinarians who you feel comfortable with and have good ‘bedside manners.’ Once you have found that veterinarian, we strongly recommend regular veterinary visits, or at the very least, annual physical exams.

 

2014 Ferret Halloween Party

Human Games:

Musical Pumpkins

Witchy Ring Toss

Suck it Up Foamies

Ferret Games:

Best Begging Pose

Paper sack escape

Shape Shifter Escape

Ferret Costume Parade

Sock it to ya

The Ferret Party was a Howl!

The party started with Musical Pumpkins. There were some pumpkins that slid across the floor “accidently” and in the end Kevin was left standing on the last pumpkin!

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Our next game was Paper Sack Escape to get the ferrets going. Each of the ferrets got stuffed into paper bags and on command the bags were placed on the floor. Some ferrets investigated the inside of the bag, one furry decided to go to sleep. Chantal and Kevin tied desperately to stuff their 4 ferrets; Oscar, Borshie, Fargo and Charlie all at the same time. With a little help they got stuffed! There was a nose to nose finish but Bella blasted out of the paper sack to win.

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We then played Longest Begging Pose. Rosalie, Meeka, Sarah, Borshie, Oscar and Charlie had no interest in begging for Bandit treats or Ferretone thank you very much! We only beg at home.

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Deb’s Molly has no pride and begs daily. His time of 4.3 seconds was the best time with Chantal’s Fargo at 3.6 seconds and Sharon’s Sarah coming in third with 2.42 seconds.
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We let the ferrets have a break and the humans played Witch Hat Ring Toss. Sounds easy, right? Well some of us couldn’t even get one ring on the hat! Kevin, Adrienne, Zoe, Melissa all scored one ring so their names went into the hat and Melissa won.

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We woke up the ferrets to play Pick a Hole. The long narrow box had 3 round holes; each numbered. The ferret was inserted into the box and their owner had to choose which hole the ferret would stick his nose out of. The results were hilarious and some of us should learn from this and never gamble!

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Turnip and Radish (Zoe) Belle (Melissa & Dan) Zipper (Colleen) Meeka (Sharon) Oscar (Chantal & Kevin) were on the same page! Their names went into a hat and Zoe’s Radish won.

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We decided to do the Costume Parade before all the ferrets decided they didn’t want to play anymore!

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Sharon’s Sarah and Meeka came as road kill

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Zoë’s Radish came as a bat, Turnip was a flower in a plant pot and Zoë looked lovely as a Cat-meow

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Dan & Melissa’s old sweetie Belle wore Bunny Ears

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Dan & Mellissa’s spunky Sara finally agreed to be the pumpkin but she was hoping for a frownie face

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Bridget’s Bella and Jace joined forces with Bella as an M & M and Jace as a Candy Kiss

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Colleen fought with her furries and sort of won when her boy Baby was finally turned into a baby and her little girl submitted to being Mrs. Skeleton

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Deb’s Molly with his ongoing gender issues, rode in as Godiva on his pony

If I missed some ferrets it’s only because we were all laughing so hard, we forgot to take notes!

Adrienne

Daniel

It was time for another human game – Suck It Up Foamies. We had a bucket of foam Halloween cut outs; skeletons, pumpkins, Zorro mask, witches and lots more. Some had sparkles on them (note to self remove the sparkly ones so we don’t kill someone next year) this game sounded so easy. Using a straw, suck up a foamy and move it to the bucket; moving as many as you can in 30 seconds. Most of us made 5foamies, Kevin and Melissa managed 8 foamies but our Danial using some real fancy toe dancing sucked up 9 foamies to win! Kevin won for most sparkles sucked down his wind pipe or so he hacked at us!

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We ended our party with a nice quiet game. Put 4 homemade ferret socks on your ferret and keep them on for one second. You would think that pooped out ferrets would be too tired to keep yanking one paw then another pulling the sock off. Lots of laughter and some mild cursing and Kevin with one of their brood kept the socks on for one second! You all have one year to practice “socking” your ferret!

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Andy and Adrienne had a huge pile of leaves for the furries to play in. Molly was the first to dive in!

There was a lot to eat with lots of contributions to the snack table. A special thanks to Andy and Adrienne’s son who saved Deb’s bacon when she forgot the pop. Rhys donated a 12 pack of Coke.

Overall, everyone had a great time and all the ferrets (and humans) went home totally played out!

Ferret First Aid Kit

It is highly recommended to always have a first aid kit on hand so you will be able to take care of your ferret should the situation arise.

Below is a list of required items to keep on hand;

  1. Emergency phone numbers; make sure you have the vet information easily accessible and any other contact needed.
  2. Ferret photos/vaccination records; it is also a good option to have photos of each ferret and records of vaccination on hand.
  3. List of all medications your ferret is currently taking.

Emergency food ideas;

  1. Jars of meat baby food-chicken or lamb chicken cooked/ground down in food processor/frozen in butter tubs/plastic containers (see Duck Soup)
  2. Light Karo syrup or nutri-cal (for quick calorie boost)
  3. Pedialyte or gatoraid (for de-hydrated ferret or just to keep system flowing)
  4. Can of prescription feline A D (you get this from your vet) easily digested food for the sick monsters
  5. A can of vanilla Ensure/Boost/Fortify
  6. Canola or olive oil (something to help move bad indigested stuff through)
  7. Petromalt or laxitone For hairballs use for everyday or every other day

Cleaning, Lotion or bandages;

  1. Calamine Lotion for balding ferrets, (relieves itchy skin and minor irritations from scratching)
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide (for cleaning cuts)
  3. Ear cleanser
  4. Eye wash/rinse
  5. Gauze pads Gauze wraps
  6. Washcloths
  7. Adhesive bandage tape (cloth tape holds the best)
  8. Styptic Powder or flour (for bleeding nails)
  9. Antibiotic ointment such as neosporin (for soothing and protecting cuts and scrapes)
  10. Bene-bac (for replacing beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract after illness or diarrhea) – can be purchased com
  11. Desitin (for rash and burn relief) or Any Diaper Rash Ointment 

Petroleum Jelly (to help move a blockage through and for easing in the thermometer)
  12. Kaopectate/pepto bismol/pesid/tagament (for diarrhea and soothing the tummy)
  13. Immodium liquid (for diarrhea)
  14. Ferretone or linatone (for mixing with medecine)
  15. Baby wipes (for general cleanup)
  16. Pediatric Liquid Benadryl ( for counteracting allergic reactions)
  17. Heating Pad ( to help maintain body tempature in a young or sick ferret)