Q&A: Sick ferret…She is making “biting” motions???

Question by Angela M: Sick ferret…She is making “biting” motions???
I think she had a seizure, too. Yesterday she was having problems walking, and then seemed okay. I checked on her this morning and I found her on her side, making biting motions and drooling. She is an elderly ferret, over 8 years old.

I would normally take her to the vet, no questions asked, but there is no vet open on a Sunday morning. Given her age, I’m afraid she’ll die. I’ve gotten her to eat and drink small amounts(last night). She has had diarrhea(went on the floor).

Best answer:

Answer by cs
It sounds like she could be hypoglycemic, a common problem in older ferrets typically due to insulinomas. The biting motions can be minature seizures. Are there any ER vets nearby you? She should see one as soon as possible. Try giving her a little Karo syrup (you can get at any grocery store, not maple syrup) to increase her blood sugar.

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Eileen Chubb, founder of “Compassion In Care” talks about the shitty elderly care in the UK. Recorded from RT HD, Going Underground, 22 February 2014.
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3 thoughts on “Q&A: Sick ferret…She is making “biting” motions???”

  1. I agree that your ferret sounds like she is having a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) problem. This is a LIFE & DEATH situation once they get to the point you are describing.

    It is VERY important that you get something sweet into the ferret such as Karo syrup or even pancake syrup if you have nothing else. If she won’t lick it, rub some on her gums. You can also give her some water with some honey or sugar in it.

    Once you get some sugar into her (syrup or whatever form), you need to get some protein into her to keep her blood sugar stabilized until you can get to a vet. Hopefully you can get her to eat something. Ideally some chicken or turkey baby food meat, warm in the microwave, then stir with your finger to make sure it’s warm but not too hot to burn her mouth. Then let her lick this from your finger.

    Unless you can get her to a 24-hr vet clinic you are going to have to continue doing this at least every hour until you can get her some medical care, or you will lose her.

    A ferret dying of low blood sugar is NOT a pretty sight, so I would really encourage you to look in the phone book under “veterinarians” for “24-hr pet emergency care”. It really doesn’t cost that much. If you don’t do it, the chances your ferret will die are very very high. At the very least, you could just take her and have her put to sleep humanely so she won’t have to die a horrible death…..that won’t be expensive if money is a problem.

    Please give her little licks of cool water – her ‘biting actions’ may be her begging you silently for help. If nothing else, wrap her in a towel and hold her so she feels secure, comfort her, speak softly to her * using her name* – VERY important, (YES, SHE DOES HEAR YOU), give her drips of cool water from your finger, give her something sweet – syrup, honey, even water with sugar in it, but don’t forget to give her some protein (meat – baby food meat, warmed) Be sure you just let her lick things or rub tiny bits on her gums, don’t FORCE her, as she may not be able to swallow if she has had a seizure and putting something in her mouth MAY cause her to choke if you aren’t careful.

    IF she does start to choke when you give her water or food, gently turn her face downward and pat her firmly between the shoulder blades, as you would a baby that was choking. Be sure to have paper towels handy to wipe anything that may come out of her mouth (or to clean up her poopies if she goes again – she probably is too weak to use the litterbox, but this is TEMPORARY if you get her veterinary help and medication) ALL of the symptoms you are seeing, the leg weakness, the drooling, the pooping out of the box, the mouth movements – all of it is PROBABLY completely CURABLE with medication. Of course, I can’t say that for sure because I do not have her in front of me, but I can tell you and encourage you to KEEP ON trying to help her until she draws her last breath……..hopefully it WON’T be anytime soon. YOU CAN GET HER THRU THIS!! Just don’t give up – and please don’t leave her alone. She NEEDS you near her, to feel your arms hold her and talk to her – to hear her name…she NEEDS ALL THAT TO GET WELL, along with the sweets and protein and a vet ASAP.

    PLEASE……….just don’t give up on her, unless you go and have her put to sleep. IF you really feel she can’t make it, PLEASE help her – let the vet put her out of her suffering? (NOTE: Do NOT try kill her at home to put her out of her suffering – attempts like this almost always cause more pain and make things worse)

    I hope and pray you will get this precious little one to a vet or emergency vet hospital. I know it’s a weekend – that’s when these things always seem to happen! So sad for your baby and so sad for you, but you MUST do everything you can – have someone forceful on the phone trying to get a vet to meet you at their office to help, or call a 24 hr emergency pet hospital and get her there, while you are holding her in a towel and speaking reassuringly to her. SHE IS SCARED and needs your comfort more than ever before. I hope and pray you will have the strength to help her and do what she really needs right now. Don’t be afraid of her – use your finger to dribble water, syrup, baby food in the front of her mouth and stroke her throat area to help her swallow. She needs IV’s with dextrose (sugar) and some medication to keep her blood sugar stabilized, then she should be fine, but you MUST get her to the vet.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your little one – hang on, precious little one….hang on. I just pray you can get her some help in time. She could still have years of healthy life ahead of her if you get her the vet care she needs.

    God bless and keep you……….I hope and pray she pulls thru this for you. I’ve know ferret that were up to 15 years old. Unless she has other bad medical problems, she can lick this problem with proper care and medications.

  2. call your vet…they arent open, but usually have an answering service that will answer and call someone in in an emergency for you. they have vets on call…

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