Laverne & Shirley
• Surrendered to the Shelter on June 19, 2016. They found a Forever Home that day!
June 4, 2017:
The girls are doing well - energy is good, poops look normal, all the plumbing is working. They soak the papers at the bottom of the cage twice a day. Shirley is bulking up a bit because she tends to eat Laverne's leftover soup. The only thing we notice is Laverne's loss of some hair on her tail. We saw this with Molly before - it seemed to come and go with her. First time we've seen it with Laverne. Does it indicate anything?
Shelter Response: Cool report - That could be some of it but kids are going to start putting on their winter change as the days get shorter. They will start putting on their winter weight - At this time I would say it is probably her going through her coat change - losing summer coat for her winter coat. If that does not fill in or the loss goes up her back then it could mean she has adrenal disease. Flip her over to see if her vulva is swollen - it if is then we are dealing with adrenal disease. My guess is it is coat change. I've noticed some of our kids here are bulking up and getting fluffy. Keep me posted Brenda
June 4, 2017:
Happy 4th of July, Auntie Brenda! I have a question about how much soup to give our fur kids. We seem to be going through the mix pretty quickly. How much do you typically give yours at a time. We have those two white bowls you have us that work great, but how full should they be?
Shelter Response: Each bowl is about 1/4 cup of soup sometimes a bit more if it is a bigger kid. I would think 1/2 of the bowl would be 1/4 cup but I am using my mind's eye on that.
June 20, 2017:
Watch for the PayPal notice. I also wanted to let you know I weighed both girls today, and I was right. Shirley has gained some weight. She’s always been a tiny 1 lb, but she’s up to 1 lb 6 oz. I think it’s all the soup! Laverne is about the same and a little heavier than when I took her to the vet, 1 lb 9 oz (almost 10 oz).
May 24, 2017:
Nothing earthshaking. She was pretty perky at the vet’s, and this morning she dove right into her soup. It could have been the little dose of Pred we gave her last night....5ml. But, the vet could detect nothing major going on. Temp was normal. Her BG was 82, and that was about 6 hours after having her morning soup. Vet ran a standard set of labs (results attached) and gave us an antibiotic (Baytril) for her. While they were getting the blood sample, she also obligingly pooped for them, so they got a stool sample to examine. The vet also gave her a bolus of fluid under the skin because she seemed a little dehydrated. We’re to start the antibiotic tonight and continue for 14 days, twice a day. The summary of the visit it also attached. Please let us know if you see anything you want to advise us about.
Shelter Response: This is all good. When did she have the Pred? that is a 12 hr dose, that could also have been why her BG was 82 - 82 indicates her numbers are dropping - normal is 95 - 120. The fur kids are so accommodating like that. Did they say why they put her on antibiotic? you can put that med in her soup. Okay thanks for the records. I will look them over when I get in from work. Brenda
Owner's Response: She got the Pred about 18 hours before the vet did the BG. She had eaten all of her morning soup and some of Laverne’s about 6 hours before the BG test. The antibiotic was given because a couple of her labs were out of the normal range, and she said they could indicate something going on with her. It was more a preventive than anything, and yes, we crushed the ¼ tablet up and gave it to her in her soup last night (first dose). She was good last night, more of her normal playtime behavior, less going someplace and just curling up to sleep. On the printout of the labs, the ones that look grayer than the others were in red on the original and indicated out of normal bounds. But all were only slightly outside what they should be. Figured you could have Doc look them over too. This is the first winter to spring seasonal change we’ve seen with these two, and maybe it just hits her harder than Laverne.
Shelter Response: That is awesome news! That means the 82 was a true reading! Nice job Dad! Okay I don't disagree with that plan, just wondered if they had something specific in mind. Good news. Could be a combination of things. With her not interested in her soup, and possible seasonal change the numbers could have been dropping. It sounds like she is on the mend I am pleased with the lab results. Thanks for keeping me in the loop. Brenda
May 22, 2017:
When we take Shirley to the vet tomorrow afternoon, what’s the name of the vet(s) you use in case they need to consult. I understand they did call the last time there was a question about Laverne, but I’d like to be able to encourage them to contact him/her/them in case she’s scratching her head about Shirley when we sees her.
Last night I thought perhaps Shirley was back to her old self. She was out during most of playtime, ate about half of her soup, and seemed to have plenty of energy. This morning, though, different story She was not interested in soup, and in fact actively resisted when I tried to give it to her by dropper. This is the last of this batch of soup, but I don’t think it’s the mix. Laverne ate most of hers last night and this morning. Shirley also seems lethargic this morning and just wants to sleep. I’m going to call the vet and see if I can get her in for a BG level in the next day or so. Could be we’ll need to have two of them on prednisolone. Will keep you posted. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.
Well, she’s a little tiny mystery. Without eating much of her soup (and neither did Laverne on her own – so it could have been I didn’t mix it right), Shirley was out more than we’ve seen her in the past couple of weeks. We didn’t have to poke her to wake her up and get her out from behind the entertainment center, and she was nearly as energetic as Laverne for the evening, although not getting into mischief the way Laverne does. A little later Pam got her to eat about half her soup from a spoon. Like I said, she has always gone straight for the soup and stayed there until it’s gone or nearly gone. Room temp could be an issue. Right now it’s 70, which is where we keep it most of the time except when the AC is on, then 73 is a better setting because it actually seems cooler without feeling cold. Laverne seems pretty wired no matter what the temp. We’ll watch Shirley over the next day or so and get a BG on her if she seems to be in a pattern. We won’t wait too long. I’ve been looking for things like bad poops (none) or that lip smacking behavior you mentioned (haven’t seen it). Nice to have some dry weather! We went up to Lake Ontario yesterday to do a first look at our sailboat. My god the water was high! The marina where we keep it wasn’t exactly flooded, but the launch where they drop the big boats in using the travel lift (as they will with ours eventually) was under water. Normally the water is 3 or 4 feet below the top of that launch area, and it was coming up onto the parking lot and surrounding a number of boats on stands and cradles. Very unusual! I hope that doesn’t last too long!
Shelter Response: That is good. Yes she is defiantly telling you something now we need to figure out what. If that is where you prefer to keep the temp the fill a couple of 20 oz with water and freeze, put them in a sock, leave in areas they prefer to sleep in, if the get too warm they will cozy up to the frozen water bottles. Good - staring off into space is another indication. Yes agreed but I have 2 more rain barrels to fill - J maybe they filled last night we got rain.
May 21, 2017:
Did Shirley ever not eat her soup at camp! Almost every night she makes a bee line for the bowl and stays there until it's gone or nearly so. Tonight - not interested. The other thing is she's not nearly as energetic as Laverne. Many nights she curls up in the corner under the entertainment center after playing for just a little while. I have to wake her up when playtime is over. She's always been tiny, and she 's lost her winter coat, but we think she looks a bit too tiny.
They can lose 50% of their body weight at spring change, can you weigh her to see what she has lost? What do her poops look like? Her eyes when she looks at you do they sparkle or are they dull?
Any chance she could have insulinoma too?
Shelter Response: Good morning There was a few times I needed to jump start her. Could be a couple of things, she may have been full, did you leave it there for her later? She may be going through her spring change, that can and does knock the socks off them, sometimes. It makes them lethargic and less likely to eat. It can last a couple of days. Again that could be spring change, but when she is like that I would try to dropper feed her soup or jump start her, if that makes a difference then something other than full and spring change is going on. What is the temp in the room, they get lethargic when they are too warm.. temps 70 and above bothers them. A good chance yes, if all I explained above is not relevant then it is time to get her in to see the vet for BG - I would first start by offering dropper, or jump start to see if the soup makes a difference, if it does then that is a pretty good indication that her BG levels are low. Good luck
March 29, 2017:
We got a weight on Laverne this morning. She was 2 lbs, which means she's lost a couple of ounces since we last weighed her a couple of weeks ago. Not a lot of balking today or this evening, and she was full of it as usual during play time.
Shelter Response: Okay it sounds like she is going through her spring change sometimes that takes a week or so. Hopefully she is on the end side of the change and she will be feeling better. Thanks for the update.
March 28, 2017:
She was fine this morning. I woke her up and she took the dropper dose without a problem. This evening it was back to balking, but she was much more her old self. Didn't get a weight on her today, but I will tomorrow. Her eyes were bright both times.
Shelter Response: Okay sounds good
March 27, 2017:
Laverne has been quite balky lately when it comes to having her evening (mostly) soup. She will usually go for the dropper and predisone in the morning if I wake her up and feed her. In the evening she's often up for a bit first, and when try to give her the dose she really isn't interested. Sometimes it takes two of us to hold her and get her started. She eventually takes it and then finishes what's in the bowl, or most of it.
Tonight she balked again and Pam suggested we put her down and come back with it later, so we did. She went to their hideout under the entertainment center and didn't come back out. That's unusual. She always comes out if we're walking around to chase feet, mostly Pam's. Tonight, nothing. I had to move the entertainment center to get her to come out (with Shirley), and we managed to get her to eat her soup from the dropper, and she finished about half of the rest.
Since then she's been her usual inquisitive and mischievous self this evening. We wondered if this might be due to the seasonal change. Her coat still seems about the same, but she might be losing some of it and a bit of weight. We just wanted to run this odd evening by you to see if it might indicate anything to you.
Shelter Response: Hummmm, Okay. Yes coat change sometimes knocks the snot out of them, is she eating her kibble? How do her poops look? Eyes bright or dull? It sounds like she was feeling a bit punk and got over it but keeping an eye on the things I question would be wise. Some of our have lost their winter coats others not yet. She will lose a good amount of weight this spring as well. I hope this helps. Brenda
Mom's Response: She seems to be eating her kibble, and the poops all look about the same as always. We'll keep checking her eyes. She was more like her old self during playtime after soup, and we'll weigh her again today to see if she's losing some weight. Her high was 2 lbs 2 oz. Thanks, Auntie Brenda! See you soon!
Shelter Response: Okay great. You can generally see in their eyes when they are not feeling well. Their eyes are the window to their soul. She can lose up to 50% of that this spring, so we need to keep up top of this because that means she will not be able to fight off any real sickness. Glad I could help
March 11, 2017:
Hi! Yes, we're still here. It's been a busy winter, especially for Pam who has been doing a lot of "part-time" work. Her part-time weeks have included one that was 51 hours! She's also been getting treated for her neck pain, and she'll have a very interesting procedure on the 20th that should give her some long term relief. No surgery!
Anyway, the girls are doing great. We wanted to make sure we're on the camp calendar for this coming April. We'll bring them over on the 4th and pick them up on May 10th. It's a long trip, perhaps the longest we'll do. Laverne is chubbing up a bit, probably because of the prednisone She's at 2.2 lbs, almost a half pound more than her highest weight before. Shirley looks smaller by comparison, but I don't think she's really any lighter. They both have great appetites and all the output looks the same and normal.
I have to send you some pictures and maybe little videos of them so you can put it on Fb or the webpage. Will do that shortly.
Stay warm! Spring is coming!
Bill & Pam
February 20, 2017:
Lavern and Shirley need food and soup, I spent time getting that ready to ship tomorrow.
February 19, 2017:
Can you please send us more kibble for the girls? We're getting pretty low. Just let me know how much for it and the mailing cost and I'll PayPal you the $$.
The girls are doing very well. Very busy during playtime. Neither of them is showing any signs of any problems. Poops and pees are are normal looking. Their coats are really good. It will be interesting to watch for changes as they lose their winter fur.
Bill & Pam
December 14, 2016:
We got some pictures of the girls last night. Laverne was up to her usual fun - going after Pam's fuzzy slippers. Shirley likes them too, but usually when they're off so she can drag them under the entertainment center. Shirley also wanted to take a selfie. We have one of her eating her soup in her favorite place, on the floor by the sink - where she waits if we haven't put it out yet when she's ready. Laverne eating hers on the counter where we start with the prednisolone in a dropper full of soup. She will usually then drink about half from the bowl before she gets distracted, and then I can put it on the floor where she'll finish it off. By then Shirley is usually done and looking for a treat. They're definitely creatures of habit.
Happy birthday from the girls (and us), Auntie Brenda!
Bill & Pam
December 10, 2016:
We got the box, Auntie Brenda! Thank you soooo much! Wonderful surprises! The girls are having a great time with the play blanket. Those little Xs and Os are disappearing under the entertainment center faster than we can pull them out!
We appreciate your thoughtfulness! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! Pam's oldest daughter is coming up right after for her birthday on the 28th. Hope to get her skiing while she's here.
November 6, 2016:
I forgot to tell you that since spending time at camp, the girls are much more active with the dig box I made for them. :) Shirley is too small to climb in without first climbing up on a small box we put next to it, but Laverne is in and out of it just climbing over the sides - and she does that a lot. We usually bury stuffed toys in the noodles in the box before we let the girls out, and they make a bee line for it and dig through until they find all the toys and drag them out. Then they try to drag them under the entertainment center or behind the stereo speakers. It's like they have a job to do every time. Very cute!
As far as the tree stand, I can probably start that this week (with my bow - still bow season here). I'm doing really well, and nurse Pam is happy with the way the incision looks. We just got back from a mile and a half walk - no problems.
November 5, 2016:
Sorry we haven't been in touch this past week. It was Papa Bill's turn to see the doctor - scheduled hernia repair surgery on Tuesday. All went well. Recuperation is going just fine.
Laverne is doing very well. Very feisty and energetic all the time. She really is a dickens - the one who's always getting into stuff, climbing up the side of the cage, climbing up Mom's pj pants when she's trying to do computer documentation on the couch (over and over again), romping around and chasing Shirley. Our vet called in a compounded prednisilone to our local CVS, so we have plenty for now. I have yet to put them in touch with doc, but I will do that next week.
Fall is here! Time to be in the woods looking for deer! As soon as I can get up in the tree stand comfortably.
October 24, 2016:
Good news. Laverne's BG was 129 and her weight was exactly what it was the last time we took her to the vet to establish her as a patient, 1.4 lbs. We just saw a vet tech. The vet who saw her before is out on maternity leave, which means the tech consulted with a vet who only sees exotics occasionally. She said they would call in a compounded prednisone for us to continue her on her dose, but they would like to have something from the "Rescue Center" vet to compare so they can tell if they might want to lower the ongoing maintenance dose. Can we send them something or perhaps put them in touch with one of your vets so they can discuss proper ferret care? The vet who's covering for the one who saw her before I'm sure would be happy for some guidance from a vet with lots of ferret experience. :)
So, good visit. We gave her food as soon as we came back out, and she was good and feisty the whole time. We should have enough pred to cover her until the new prescription is available. We were pleased with how it went.
September 28, 2016:
Aunt Brenda caught us moving the toys out of the toy box and stuffing them where we wanted them. We chased her around the pool for a bit while she tried to get pictures. As soon as she came into the room we wanted her to play with us, we kept getting so close that she could not get a picture. It was fun to chase her around the room. We are having fun we hope you are!
Lavern and Shirley
I'm glad you're giving Auntie Brenda such good exercise! I'm sure she appreciates it. We are finally getting a little cooler here in sunny, hot California. Today it's only in the mid 80s instead of the upper 90s and Dad got to ride the motorcycle today without melting. Mom had lunch with a nurse she met last year when we were here and she had a little side stay in the hospital for her knee infection. They have stayed in touch and had lunch last time we were here too. Tonight we're going to visit the grandchildren again and have pizza!
It's only another week and a half until we come home. We miss you! Thank Aunt Brenda for trying take pictures of you for us, and please do us a favor and hold still just for a minute so she can take more.
Love you and miss you!
Dad & Mom
September 23, 2016:
Aunt Brenda got some pictures of us.. yesterday while she was cleaning cages, we were scaling the mountains of clean laundry. We are having fun, we are eating the shelter mix of food.. we did not want what you brought us. We are eating the shelter duck soup too.. we are having fun, doing great and staying out of trouble! We miss and love you! Lavern and Shirley
Hi, Auntie Brenda !!
Thank you so much fun the pics of our girls!!! They look wonderful ! We'd love to accept your offer to bring BabyGirl & Molly down for spring planting in your loving earth..we think that'd be a perfect resting place for them and would put our hearts at rest..We'll bring them down if still ok when we come to pick up Laverne and Shirley..thank you !! See you in a couple of weeks !
Brenda's Response: They are doing well and are happy to travel the tubs to the top of the cages or climb the mountains of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away. Then it is a deal, they will come to the shelter to rest with the others that have left us. Perfect - you are welcome. I hope you are having a great time. The girls sure are.
September 19, 2016:
Dear Laverne and Shirley,
We miss you! We're hoping you're behaving for Aunt Brenda and doing everything you're supposed to. It has been very hot here. It has been close to 100 degrees for the past few days, and it's supposed to be 100 today. Ugh! Not good weather for little furry kids! We went to a big apple orchard yesterday with the little non-furry kids and they got to do a pony ride, make candles, take a train ride and see lots of neat things that people make and sell. No one can have little kids like you in CA, so we didn't see anything we could get for you there, just lots of stuff for dogs and cats.
Today we're supposed to watch Sava and Roslyn practice soccer, but it may be too hot. We hope we can see what you're up to soon! We love showing your pictures to everyone!
Love you and miss you!
Mom & Dad
September 11, 2016:
Mom and Dad,
Camp is fun but it is NUTS around here! Crazy busy with things going on. People in and out, new fur kids brought in to stay and a fur kid going home from camp today. Aunt Brenda got some pictures of us yesterday. She found me up in the very top sleep box. Shirley was hanging out in the ferret room with Aunt Brenda while I was sleeping. She found the cornstarch peanut box.
Aunt Brenda is dropper feeding us soup, we decided we were not going to eat it when she put it down. SOOOOOOOO Aunt Brenda being Aunt Brenda when she serves up soup for everyone she holds us one at a time to dropper feed us soup. She lets us have as much as we want. I had almost a full bowl before I wanted down. Shirley had the same.
We hope you are having fun on your vacation, we are having a blast - Aunt Brenda is getting us up at 3 am this morning we got her space first.. she has decided we can be trusted up here.
Lavern and Shirley
Mom and Dad got in to Sacramento last night and had a good sleep at your sister Heather's apartment. It was a loooonnnggg trip but everything went really well - except for Mom getting a full pat down at the airport in Albany because they weren't sure about her bead stuff in her little bag. That was exciting!
We also had a beautiful 3 hour sunset when we flew here from Chicago. We were flying very high and very fast so we kept up with the sun as it was going down. It was very pretty!
I'm glad Auntie Brenda is getting you to eat the soup, but you have to do it the way you do at home - from a bowl! Auntie Brenda can't spend all that time with a dropper with each of you! I hope you go back to eating from a bowl soon, but I think you just like having Aunt Brenda hold you, don't you?
Thank you for the pictures. It looks like you're having a good time! Behave for Auntie Brenda! We miss you!!!
Mom & Dad
September 9, 2016:
Dear Mom and Dad, wow this place is awesome, toys everywhere, tubes everywhere and water fountains to play in. But we have to say scary too...after you left Aunt Brenda when into the ferret room to get cages caught up before she had to leave for work, then she came upstairs to make some coffee.. All of a sudden we hear Aunt Brenda groaning. We could not figure out what was going on.. moaning and groaning we hided out under the blanket, then we heard Aunt Brenda going Yummmmmmm
We had to find out just what was going on.. it was the cookies! She had gotten into the cookies you baked for her. She said she has not had a gluten free cookie so good in the 12 years she has been gluten free. She said she is going to see if you will be her baker! LOL
Anyway we hope you have as much fun in CA as we are having here at camp.
We love you
Lavern and Shirley
September 4, 2016:
We haven't encountered a cough before, but this evening Shirley was definitely coughing. We heard it a couple of times. Not sure what it means.
She's still eating and drinking well. She seems a little less energetic than usual, but that may be only because Laverne is now full of it and going like crazy when she's out for play time. Shirley isn't lethargic like Laverne was, and she's not trying to nap like Laverne did, but we want to stay on top of anything that might be happening with her.
We'll keep listening to see if it continues and let you know, but any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Shelter Mum's Response: She may have had a piece of kibble stuck in her throat. Sometimes the tiny pieces don't go down with the rest of the food she just crunched up.
It is also coat change time. Coat change can knock the snot out of them for a few days. As long as she is eating and drinking and there is no diarrhea things are cool
Understood, like I said she may be blowing her coat some ferrets don't do it as easily as others. If it is intermittent I expect it is kibble, if it happens consistently please try to record where she is and what she is sleeping in. she may be developing allergies. No problem
August 16, 2016:
It's Kayla! I surrendered my babies with you; Laverne and Shirley! I was so excited when I went on your website and seen all of the updates since they were adopted. I am so appreciative for all your time to help my girls find a forever home. Please extend my appreciation and gratitude to their new family. From the comments, the girls are well taken care of and loved. I truly miss them but I am so blessed that they are living their lives with a wonderful family. I look forward to seeing more updates, pictures and videos. I think of them very often.
Thank you again,
August 16, 2016:
How long should we continue to give Laverne soup twice a day? We'll continue to give it to her for a couple more days at least until we finish her amoxicillin, but should we keep giving it to her twice a day after that? And how about Shirley? We're currently giving her a regular serving of soup in the evening, but we haven't been giving her a full serving in the morning, just Laverne. If Laverne doesn't finish hers, we'll let Shirley do that, but this morning we gave them both a regular serving, and of course, Shirley ate it all. She even goes after the sludge at the bottom of the bowl.
Shelter Mum's Response: Lavern will be on soup for the remainder of her life. Right now soup is keeping her numbers up where they belong but as the disease progresses you will eventfully be adding meds to that soup. Absolutely yes - that is the reason for her improvement - well and your attention to her care too. Then you can keep doing it that way.. soup is crucial, if they get ill they will decline rapidly, the soup can keep them going, letting them have it will keep them interested - I am sending the directions of ingredients and how to make the soup and where to get them - or I will continue to make and send soup mix if you like. Bless her little heart!
August 12, 2016:
Shirley, the little dickens of the two, seems to like biting Pam. She will run over to her and bite her on the foot, and yesterday during the day she bit her on the wrist. A couple of times she's drawn blood. There doesn't seem to be any reason for it, no provocation; it just happens.
One time Pam was wearing the slippers the girls like to steal, and Shirley latched on to her foot just above the slipper, but other times she'll bite Pam's bare foot. She doesn't do that with me, and Laverne doesn't seem to have the same habit.
Anything we can do (besides wear shoes any time they're out)?
Also, I made a dig box for them after I came back from visiting you with Laverne with a hole in the top like the one you have. They had some interest in it, but not a lot. I was kind of disappointed. So tonight I decided to take the top off, and it made all the difference. I wish I had been quick enough to take video of the two of them in it, but they were basically swimming in it and wrestling in it, having a great time. Then they decided to start taking the noodles out of it. Laverne seems to like it better than Shirley, but they both climbed in a couple of times. Good exercise! I have a box they can get up on to be able to climb over the side and get in by themselves.
Still doing well with the soup and the amoxicillin. Easy as can be to give Laverne her dose twice a day. You should have no problem with them eating soup at camp, though Laverne still needs a little help getting started.
Shelter Mum's Response: Is she biting and shaking? or biting and running? Biting and shaking the part she has in her mouth is a sign of frustration and fear. (don't take that personally) Biting and running is a game they play I call it "tag your it"
As I said before ferrets like bare skin, my saying is "bare skin is fair game in the ferret world" some more so than others this is why I cover from top to bottom at all times. Jack has the same fetish for slippers, I had to teach him he could not have the ones on my feet. As my slippers wear out I wash and give them to him. It took some time for him to learn he could not have the slippers on my feet. But sometimes he forgets and I get bitten as he tries to get them off my feet.
We need to do some investigating first. I need to know what she is doing prior to the bite, does she seek Pam out for the bite or is she playing when Pam gets bitten?
That is great news.. yes I expect it will be easier for you to clean up after 2 than it is for me to clean up after 40, that is why we have a top with a hole in it. I tried a hole in the side of the box, boy was that a mistake!
That is a fun game - Our Leo likes to get into our box and have some for snack before he settles in for a nap in them. That is great.
It is amazing how easy serving up meds is when they like soup.. soup is a life saver literally! Great, I have 3 that need a jump start so I will just set her in the box for soup so I can watch her to be sure she gets it all.
So this biting issue is now in your ball court I need some answers before we decide how to proceed.
Owner's Response: OK. It's tag. Shirley is fearless, so she likes to nip and see what happens. And now Laverne is doing it, and they're both doing it to me too. I'm not usually barefoot, but I was this morning, and both of them thought I might taste pretty good.
Pam was wondering if it's OK to squirt them with a water bottle when they do it and if that's even going to work?
Shelter Mum's Response: Yes that is a fun game to them.. we can work on getting them to stop. That will make them mean! You do not want to scruff, hit, or squirt them! Lakeroad is renowned in rehabbing biters this is what I do:
When they first grab you; gently pick them up - if you are already holding them this works too. Say in a gentle but firm voice OUCH! That hurts.. offer some ferretone and then set them down. Repeat as needed. If they continue to come back in the same time frame, to do the same after a second OUCH then you put the nipper in their cage, set a timer for 5 min near the cage, when the timer goes off let her out.
It may take a day or two for them to learn that tag your it is not a game you like to play.
Here is a link to a biter we had back in 2008 - she was one of 700 we (many shelters including us) took out of the DMK rescue.. in Ohio. Maggie, this gives you clear picture how nippers and biters need to be handled and taught. Here's the story about the DMK rescue.
Ferrets do not realize our skin is not as tuff as theirs, they play with each other and bite each other but do not puncture, with us sadly we puncture.. I am here if you need me - let me know what you think.
August 11, 2016:
Nice picture! I wish we could stop over and meet him, but we're going to be up at Lake Ontario (Henderson Harbor) tomorrow and then driving down to PA on Saturday for a quick overnight. Lots of time in the car! Ugh!
This will be our first trip away from the girls for an overnight. We went to NYC before but we had someone coming in to watch Pam's daughter's dog who was here (in a cage) and she also checked the girls. We think they'll be fine.
We'll give Laverne her amoxicillin on Saturday before we go and then as soon as we get back early Sunday afternoon. By then she'll have had 7 days of it already. She'll miss one dose.
We're so glad they can come to camp when we're away in September. SO MUCH better than having someone come in. They'll love having lots of company, and you'll get to know them better too.
Have fun visiting with your son.
Shelter Mum's Response: Okay it was a thought.. be safe.. Does anyone have a way to get in to get them and know they are there if you are in an accident and can't get home the next day? Safer for the girls for sure. Be safe so you get home to take care of the girls.
August 10, 2016:
Good update to report. Laverne's weight is up to 1 lb 8.2 oz, which is the heaviest she's been since we started weighing her. Their poop paper at the bottom of the cage is also usually loaded with good looking poops (color, size, shape) - if poops can be said to look good. Gone are the little dark brown blobs occasionally tinged with green. She's also eating most of her soup from the bowl with just a little prompting to get her started. Shirley is a real soup lover. She even licks the sludge up at the bottom of the bowl.
I never contacted the vet about how long to keep up the Carafate. I was reluctant to since she had said to start using Pepcid and we aren't doing that.
She may have based her decision about how long to use the Carafate thinking the Pepcid would be what was controlling her stomach acid. We're still giving her the carafate. Should we keep it up?
Laverne's energy level is now also on a par with Shirley's. She's all over the place when she's up - very different from even a week ago. Obviously feeling better.
That's about it. We're really enjoying them, and we feel good about being able to nurse Laverne out of a potentially serious medical situation. :)
Shelter Mum's Response: This is wonderful news! Nice job! That's right, I had forgotten about that. You can stop now that you have good poops. If you see dark poops again start it back up. This is a band aid for the lining of the stomach, the dark, black poop means there is an ulcer.. the ulcer is gone you can discontinue Carafate. I am thrilled.. you have done a phenomenal job getting her back on track. You did good, you should be proud! I am so happy all 4 of you are doing so well.
August 1, 2016:
Laverne's weight is staying pretty stable at around 1 lb 7.9 oz, and this morning she drank some of her soup from a bowl, but she quit early, so we used the dropper for the rest, and she took it all. Her poops are still not consistently good. Today is was wet and dark green again, but her energy seems good and she's not retreating to her bed like she used to. She's around a bit more but then usually finds a comfy place and sacks out outside of the cage while Shirley tears it up. All we have to do for Shirley is put a bowl of soup down and she comes right over to it and finishes it. Yay!
Shelter Mum's Response: Keep in mind the more kibble she eats the less soup, the more soup the less kibble. She may have been full. Insulinoma has a lot to do with that. Yes she is going to have low energy level until she is put on meds. But this is defiantly an improvement. Perfect . Lavern will get there when she starts feeling better, you guys are doing a fantastic job getting her to like soup and make her feel better until she gets some meds. Bless you both.
July 30, 2016:
Pam's been cupping her hand under the dropper when she gives her the soup, and Laverne has been licking it up from there as well as taking it by dropper. We'll try a shallow spoon. Thanks for the tip!
Shelter Mum's Response: Awesome! Catching the drips and letting her lick it from her hand. Something I did not think of. J I put a towel on my lap to stay clean. No problem - have a great day.
July 29, 2016:
We were away for a good bit of today, but we felt OK doing it because Laverne seemed perky, and her weight was up from yesterday to 1 lb.7.9 oz. The scale was flickering back and forth between that and 1 lb 8 oz, which was the weight I got on her on Monday before I brought her over to see you. We've had good luck getting her to eat soup, but we're still giving it to her via dropper. Shirley will go right up to the bowl and drink it.
We're feeling more comfortable about how she's doing, but we hope we can get her to just drink it up the way Shirley does.
Shelter Mum's Response: This is all good news! Next step, try offering soup by shallow spoon, on some of these kids it takes baby steps to get them to the bowl. What is going to be important is getting her to take enough soup to keep her from developing an ulcer when she gets put on meds. Nice job
July 28, 2016:
Laverne seems pretty perky today. Her wt was only I lb 7.1 oz so down a bit from yesterday, but we got a good dose of soup into her this morning using the dropper and having her lick it out of Pam's hand. Shirley's wt is 1 lb, 4.8 oz, but she's always been smaller. Her appetite is fine. She drank a cube of soup from the bowl this morning with no problem. Laverne's poop looks a little more normal, a bit lighter color brown. Not light but not green either. She is still making the smacking motions with her mouth though, so her tummy is still not right. What did you say we should do about the amoxicillin? Give it? Keep it? I can't remember. :(
Shelter Mum's Response: Awesome, no reason you can't offer it every 3/4 hrs to keep her BG levels a bit more stable. I am so pleased. We call them soup poops. I expect she will until she gets medication to help with her BG level. Her glucose level is so low she is going to need medication to stop the grinding of her teeth. Hang on to it, I sent it home with you so you have some on hand if/when needed. I am going to send another email for you and Pam both, things you need to know before you take Lavern in to see the vet.
July 27, 2016:
Laverne was 1 lb 7.5 oz this morning, up just a bit from when you weighed her yesterday. She's also letting us give her the carafate without shaking too much of it around the room when we do, and she's starting to like the soup. I gave her most of her morning serving by dropper today, but she also licked a little out of a bowl. I made up some cubes for the next time.
Shelter Mum's Response: I am thrilled to hear Lavern is coming around. You may want to try offering the soup on a shallow dish. A lot of times they don't like getting their whiskers in it. Awesome job Dad great news. Brenda
Owner's Response: Yes, it's a big relief to see her taking the soup - and liking it. I did try some in a dish and she licked up a little, but that was after I had fed her about 3 or 4 droppers so she may have been getting full. I'll try starting her with the dropper and offering her the dish sooner. We did kind of get it everywhere - but you said that might happen. :)
PM Update: Hi auntie Brenda !! So far so good.. Laverne was licking the end of the dropper when we gave her her soup (mixed with her own food) so thank you, thank you, thank you !!
Shelter Mum's Response: That is awesome! Keep up the great work!
July 26, 2016:
Shelter Mum's Email: How did Lavern do over night?
Owner's Response: She seemed to do OK. We got a couple of small doses of soup into her, and she had a little poop that was lighter brown in color, right after one that was slightly lighter than the chocolate colored one earlier. I wish she would take the soup like her sister, who drank from the bowl twice! I'm going to bring Laverne out this morning. Try to get to you by around noon, if that's OK.
Shelter Mum's Response: Good morning - good to hear we have lighter poo - yes I will be here bring her in. I will send some meds home with you as well.. noon works perfectly.
Owner's Email, PM: Seemed to be ok.. We got her to take about a total of 3cc soup in the syringe over a couple of hrs last night.. She's drinking water & loves the ferretone on her belly...
Bill is on his way down now with her..yesterday was a Very long day for me & I need a day to veg & cook so I'm still in my Jammies. He's bringing you a jar of cherry jam I made yesterday.
Thanks so much Auntie Brenda for helping us with our girls .. We really appreciate you & your wealth of knowledge !
Shelter Mum's Response: Okay I think I am going to check her BG when she gets here, will send some Carafate home with Bill - that is a must in the medicine cabinet of ferret owners.
I understand. I did not stay in jammies on Sunday but I did only what needed my immediate attention.. kids and cages.
Oh bless your heart. My pleasure to help any fur kid and their humans when they need it. I will check in when Bill is on his way home.
Shelter Mum's Response, PM Update:We have some answers. Lavern has Insulinoma. Her BG numbers were 51 when I checked them, weight the same as last night so that is good. No temp, no dehydration. I offered her some soup, I got maybe 4mls down her. Our soup mix does not have her kind of food in it so you and Bill are going to grind some of their food and mix that in the soup mix for her. That may help her to like it better. Lavern needs to have Carafate and soup minimum 2 times a day… until she sees the vet for the meds she is going to need.
I sent home with Bill some stuff to make life easier on you to keep Lavern going. It is going to be crucial to keep her in soup until she can get in to the vet. Keep me in the loop please.
July 25, 2016:
Can we give you a call to talk to you about Laverne? We’re a little concerned about her and we’d love to ask you some questions. What’s a good time to call? We have an appointment for both of them at our local vet, but it’s not until Aug. 3. They lost one of the two vets there that sees ferrets, so getting in to see the one that’s left isn’t very quick. ☹ We just want to make sure we’re on top of whatever might be going on with her, if anything.
July 3, 2016:
Good beautiful morning, Auntie Brenda !!
We were just wondering about the Ferretone..Bill is in charge of giving it to them & they love it ! We're gonna start giving it to them on their cute tiny bellies to see if that'll work at nail cutting time. Just a squirt a day, yes ? Thanks as always for your loving guidance !!
Shelter Mum's Response: They may have up to 3/4 tsp a day, each. the squirts we give on bellies is the size of a dime, the squirts we give to go to bed is about the size of a quarter. That amount is most likely less than a 1/2 tsp. so if you go by the amounts we use you have lots of leeway to work with. Just remember to NOT use it as a treat, and you will be fine.
I expect they are going to jump and back up when you put FT on their belly, it is cold. It will take a few times for them to understand what is going on and get with the program. Good luck
June 27, 2016:
Hi, Auntie Brenda !!
Mom boobooed and put the old food on the bottom and the new food on the top so we decided we'd eat it all anyways..it's yummy for the tummy !!
Shelter Mum's Response: Oh my what wonderful news you bring to me. My smile is as wide as the moon! It sounds like you are all adjusting to new surroundings and a new family. I am thrilled for all of you.. Please treat your new Mom and Dad well they are very special to me.
June 26, 2016:
Hi, auntie !! We're just getting ready to start combining foods and have forgotten how you said to do it ! Old on the bottom, new on top ? Thanks !
Shelter Mum's Response: Yup one dish of food with new on the bottom with old on the top.. that way they will eat their food and accidently get the new food, just keep topping off the new food with the old until you see them eating the new, then you can mix it.
June 25, 2016:
Hi, Auntie Brenda !
Just wanted you to know that the girls are fine !! They are friendly, eating, drinking, playing, and generally enjoying life & us ! Yay !! The water bottles you sent seem to be working beautifully ! Thank you ! We'll keep in touch ! I found a box for the jam now need to safely pack & send !
June 22, 2016:
Good morning, Auntie Brenda ! Thanks for your note !! The girls are very funny with the water.. Now they splash it out to a certain depth then drink from the cup & what they've splashed on the floor !
Question..we want to start adding our food & don't remember if you said to put it on the top or the bottom of what they're eating now ? You are quite a lady, Brenda !! We're really glad this friendship has been born ! Can I send you some homemade jam ? What kind do you like ? Thank you for the water bottles !
Bill was wondering if you got the 'girls wrestling' video he sent ? He is very proud of it !
Have a good day, Auntie Brenda !
The water bottles came today. Thank you! The tube(s) is noticeably bigger than the one we had been using, so they should have an easier time of it. Also the box is perfect for sending back a couple of jars of jam. Pam will get to that ASAP.
Girls are good. They really seem to be habituated to using one corner of the cage bottom to potty. We've had very few (maybe 3) land mines outside of the cage. Bonus!!
Shelter Mum's Response: Oh my they are funny little girls happy to be in their new home. Thanks for the video!
June 21, 2016:
Hi, Brenda !! Got really busy, first with the girls then with a full work day yesterday ..sorry, didn't mean to make you worry ! Girls are fine, happy, eating & pooping fine. Wanna chat. Shall I try you later ?
A little video of Laverne and Shirley going at it on the only small carpeted area they play in. They really love to tussle.
June 20, 2016:
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO? How are things going with the girls? Here are the pictures I took of you, Bill and the girls. I love the one with you trying to catch the one that got away. - Brenda
Initial Contact, Owner, May 31, 2016:
My name is Kayla and I live in Scranton, Pa. I have 2 female ferrets named Laverne and Shirley. I am very sad to say that I am looking into surrendering them due to personal lifestyle changes; I want them to have the care that they deserve. I would greatly appreciate if you can let me know if you have availability as well as further information on the process for my girls. This is a very big decision and I want them to go to those with experience.
Thank you for taking the time, Kayla.
We have an opening at this time, this link will explain all that is required to surrender your ferrets to us http://www.ferretfarm.org/PrivateSurrender.html . The ferrets must be current on vaccines with documentation.
New York State requires ferrets to be vaccinated with the rabies vaccine yearly, a more important vaccine is distemper. The distemper shots that are given to the ferrets before leaving the breeder are null and void as the FDA label states this vaccine does not work on kits under 8 weeks of age. The kits being moved from the breeder to the stores are 6 weeks when shipped.
Our web link includes ferret knowledgeable veterinarians available to get this done if you do not have a veterinarian of your own. http://www.ferretfarm.org/faq/Vets.html
Current means 8 months or longer before the ferrets need to be vaccinated again. As the web site states everything that belongs to the ferrets comes with them up to and including the cage.
We do not separate cage mates so it is imperative that if you decide you are surrendering your ferrets to this facility you keep us informed so we keep an appropriate opening for you. We work on a first come first serve basis.
The shelter directors work schedule varies on a day to day basis so we need to determine a time that fits both yours and her schedule. Surrenders generally take 45 min to a hour to complete.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for responding. I am interested in the opening. My two ferrets receive their shots yearly and I have all documentation. They are coming up this June for them. The one female had an allergic reaction to the rabies shot last year and my vet stated that she can no longer have the rabies vaccine because it can result in her death. She does however get the distemper. All of their necessary items will be included no problem. I have a double decker cage for them with corner liter boxes for them to go to the bathroom and liter as well as toys, blankets, hammocks, etc. I live 3 hours away so Friday evening through Sunday would work out best for my schedule.
Thank you again with your help. Looking forward to working with you.
Shelter's Response, June 1, 2016:
Okay then no rabies shot...We don't want to hurt her. This weekend is NOT good for us. This is our clinic weekend lots of activities and stuff going on there will be no time for intake. Any of the weekends after are open, you pick I will put you on the calendar. Saturday or Sunday works shelter is shut down at 4 pm. Let me know what day works for you then we can teak the time.
Sunday, June 19 would work out best if that's okay for you as well. I was also wondering if I bring them to my vet for their yearly for this year or just bring all my documentation?
Sunday the 19th works for us.. time that works best for us is between 10 am and 2 pm will that window of time work for you? They are due for vaccines this month - they need to be vaccinated before they get here.
Yes that time frame works perfectly. We will be leaving early in the morning so depending on traffic we plan to be there for 10-11am. Okay they will have their yearly vaccines and documentation. Thank you for all your help with this. Looking forward to meeting you.
Shelter's Email, June 12, 2016:
I am confirming that you will be delivering the girls about 10 am on Saturday the 19th. Any possibility I can get a picture of them before they get here? What are you feeding them, I need to be sure we can get the food they are used to eating until they acclimate to our mix.
I will be coming Sunday, June 19 around 10am. I feed them All Living Things brand for small animals. Pictured below. I get it at PetSmart. I have also attached their pictures.
Shelter's Response, June 13, 2016:
Thank you Kayla, we have found them a home. The family will be picking them up the day they get here. Please remember to bring their medical records with them as well as all the things that belong to them. I look forward to meeting you Saturday.
That is amazing news to hear. Thank you so much for all your help. I am so appreciative. I have all of their things ready; food, liter, cage, toys, etc. Papers for their medical records are also ready. I'm an just confirming that it is Sunday the 19th at 10am not Saturday.
Yes you are correct I messed up you are on the calendar for Sunday 19th.
Initial Contact, Forever Home family, June 9, 2016:
Hi, Mum !
My husband & I lost our furries, 2 girls, BabyGirl and Molly, about 3 months ago, both of old age about 2 months apart. We'd had them for several years & enjoyed their place in our family ! We'd love to adopt a couple of ferrets and hope to come & visit on Sunday June 12th with our application.
Looking forward to meeting you all !
Pam & Bill B.
Shelter's Response, June 10, 2016:
Good Morning Pam, have we connected prior to this email? I do not find any correspondence in our files about you and your family wanting to adopt. - NO worries I just like to keep track of the folks that want to adopt and this email seems to be the first from you.
I am so sorry to hear you lost your two girls recently. Ferrets do complete a family for sure
Excellent that you will have the application with you. Where are you located? What time do you expect to be in Naples, I like to have things set and done so I can spend time with you and the fur kids that you hang with.
See you Sunday the 12th please let me know what time you expect to get here.
Forever Home family's Response:
Good morning, Brenda !
Thank you so for such a prompt response ! We're located in Little Falls, which is a little bit 'o heaven located about 20 miles east of Utica on the Mohawk just off of the thruway.
We're hoping to be in Naples sometime during visiting hrs on Sunday the 12th but will pin it down more for you later today.
We're excited ! Oh, & this is our first note to you !
Oh good to know I did not drop the ball.. thanks for making my day.
Forever Home family's Response:
Hi, Brenda ! Hope you had a lovely day ! We found out about the shelter from Google (I love Google !!) & your super site ! We should be able to be at the shelter on Sunday the 12th around 1-1:30pm. Please let us know if that works ! Thanks, so ! Excited !!
Shelter's Response, June 11, 2016:
Awesome good to know Google pointed you in the right direction! That works great.. you will be climbing barriers so you will want to wear comfortable shoes, no open shoes bare toes are fair game for ferrets. I am pleased you are. See you tomorrow about 1
Forever Home family's Response, June 12, 2016:
Hello, little sister !! It's NHBA- nothing happens by accident !! Loved meeting you and all of the kids & getting to play ! Have a great week !
Forever Home family's Response, June 13, 2016:
Oh, Brenda !! How very sweet ! Brought tears to my eyes !! Sounds like a match made in heaven to me ! See...NHBA !
They look healthy & well kept, happy, one gripping probably mom's finger in the one pic..love 'em already ! Please just let us know if there's anything else..& thanks for your help, dedication, & most of all love!
Our kids are all thrilled & LOVE the story about the serendipity with the NHBA with our new girls !
Take care & have a great week
I agree! This is a good match, That's what I like to hear! My pleasure to help the little ones without a voice have a voice and find a GOOD new home. I am pleased Thanks -
I told Kayla that the girls have a new home this is the message I got from her.
That is amazing news to hear. Thank you so much for all your help. I am so appreciative. I have all of their things ready; food, liter, cage, toys, etc. Papers for their medical records are also ready. I'm an just confirming that it is Sunday the 19th at 10am
Have a good week
Forever Home family's Response:
Hi, Brenda !! We've had a delightful outpouring of interest & appreciation for our new kids !! Yay !!
Bill was wondering if he should bring a travel cage or just use what she brings the girls in? The cage she has them in looks very similar to the really nice ones you have for the kids..it just seems to reinforce the care she has taken of them ! Ah ! Sunday the 19th, then !! Bill was thinking it was Saturday ! Good for us, hopefully good for you ! This means I can come too !
Shelter's Response, June 14, 2016:
I am pleased your family is on board with this. Generally the families do not give up the carries they bring them in. You better bring the travel cage.
It looks like a Martin cage, they were the in thing until the ferret nation came along. see you on Sunday, I am so glad you can be here too.
Forever Home family's Response, June 17, 2016:
Hi, Brenda !
We just wanted to check & make sure we're still on track for Sunday..we're sure excited ! Looking forward to seeing you !
Pam & Bill
I was just going to email everyone to make sure. Kayla has confirmed you have now confirmed - I will see you on Sunday at 10? It takes about 45 min to get the surrender stuff done. What do you need/want for the girls anything? Everything that belongs to them will go with you but a lot of times the bedding goes right into the trash.
Forever Home family's Response:
We'll bring our carry cage, bedding, litter box. If we could please have a small amount of dry soup and tonic if convenient until we get what we need that would be wonderful. We'd also like to chat a bit about their food..
Do you want us there at 10 or closer to 11 ?
Shelter's Response, June 18, 2016:
Make it 10:30 if this family has them in good condition I would like to get a picture of all of you together. If the kids are in crap and filth I will not do that.. I will get a picture of just you and Bill with the girls.
Forever Home family's Response:
Ok, we'll do our best ! The only hiccup is that I am on call and have to see a patient early tomorrow morning. It should be ok. The tonic I was referring to is the ferretone but we can get that at a pet store I'd think.
Okay we deal with what we get, no biggy. Get here when you can. Oh okay. yes I will send some ferretone home with you as well. see you tomorrow when you get here.
Forever Home family's Response, June 19, 2016:
Good morning, Brenda ! We're so excited ! We're on our way, on call and patient visit done. Looks like ETA is right around noon. We hope that doesn't mess you up ! See you shortly !
That works perfectly. Be safe in your travels.