Bloom, AKA Munchkin, AKA Maggie
• Surrendered to the Shelter on January 6, 2008. She left for the Rainbow Bridge February 16, 2015.
• Maggie found a forever home on June 22, 2008! Read about her time in the Shelter by clicking , or read her recent updates below.
• Maggie was a female black sable.
February 17, 2015:
Maggie developed sudden breathing problems yesterday morning. I took her to the same vet who worked so thoroughly and compassionately with Beau, and it only needed two xrays to see that Maggie had been valiantly hiding some very serious problems right up until the end. Yes, she was blind and all but deaf, but she still had a great appetite and loved to toddle around and explore and be loved. Her spleen had been enlarged for years but that never stopped her. On the xrays, we could see that a golf-ball sized mass was in the spleen, and several other masses around the outside. Her heart was "massively enlarged" the vet said, and her lungs and thoracic cavity were almost totally filled with fluid. How she hid that for so long, I'll never know, but her breathing never appeared labored until yesterday morning. The vet said there are several kinds of fluid that could have begun leaking from any one of the tumors around her lungs and spleen, and that can happen pretty fast. They were almost certainly cancerous, and viciously so. Maggie also had either a collapsed lung lobe or a thymoma-type cancer.
There was no chance of saving Maggie. She went to the bridge easily and gently in my arms.
Thank you for letting me be her mommy and love her all these years.
December 27, 2014:
BTW Beau had an ultrasound last week, and it didn't show any abnormalities in his lymph nodes, thank God. Only one visible nodule in his pancreas, and a slightly enlarged right adrenal (not too big - seems like the Des implant has been doing its job!). Maggie (your DMK Munchkin) is doing fine; partially blind in her right eye now in addition to being fully blind in her left. I think she's mostly deaf too. She has a terrific appetite and nice healthy poops, though, and gets around very well. She prefers to steal the other kids' treats rather than eat the ones I put right below her nose. Penny is also doing just fine! No return of her adrenalenoma symptoms either, since her Des implant early last year.
Hugs to you & the kids. Hope you had a happy Christmas.
May 28, 2014:
Maggie (formerly Munchkin, from DMK) is showing her age. She still has a wonderful appetite and is very affectionate, gorgeous thick fur and a healthy dose of ferret curiosity. But she's almost totally blind now and seems to be going deaf as well. Her spleen remains very large so she doesn't dance anymore. She moves around slowly but without hind leg weakness or other danger signs. She's going on 8 so I'm thankful for every day with her here.
December 03, 2013:
I forgot you had asked for an update on the kids. (We were in NY and Chicago last week to see friends & family over Thanksgiving.)
You recall Luna passed during the drive to Seattle, but she had existing health problems including insulinoma, and the vet we brought her body to said she most likely died from a heart attack or stroke. I have her cremains, and think about & miss her every single day.
Penny is fat and sassy, but showing signs of adrenalenoma. She is increasingly aggressive with the other ferrets, and her tail is almost completely bald. It's progressing very slowly, though. In another month or so I'll get her either a Lupron shot or a Des implant.
There are some distinct differences in vet protocols here vs. New York & New England. With adrenalenoma, for instance, here the thinking is that there isn't much difference between Lupron & Deslorelin, other than the latter lasts for 12-18 months. But the vets don't think there's any real difference in the impact on the adrenal gland(s). They also don't believe that the effect of a Des implant is lessened if the ferret has been on Lupron for some time before. This is different from what Dr. G told me; also I recall Dr. Wagner's research showing that Des might actually shrink - or at least stop the progression of - the tumor(s), while Lupron treats the symptoms. Am I confused about that?
They also routinely pre-treat with Benadryl here, and follow a yearly schedule with distemper. I discussed Dr. Heller's research and the collaboration with vets at Cornell with my new vet here, but she says as long as the ferrets are pretreated the risk of a bad reaction is extremely small - all but nonexistent. For now, I'm keeping all the kids on an 18-month distemper sked.
Beau is doing really well!! He went in for an Xray a few weeks ago to check the progression (if any) of his bone degeneration. The radiographs showed his bones are great, solid and strong, and also that his heart and lungs are in good condition, no discernable tummy problems, etc. He's my gorgeous boy!!! His tail fur is looking thin toward the end. Of course it could be seasonal, or related to the stress of so many household moves in a short period of time. If it gets worse I'll get him an implant too.
Maggie is also doing great!!! She's dancing and dooking, if you can believe it! She's almost seven years old now, can you believe it!!! There has been no change in the size of her spleen, but her poops and appetite are fine. You recall that her left eye is blocked by a cataract; I think she may be having vision problems in her right eye too now, because she bumps into things sometimes. There's no sign of a cataract though, so maybe it's just a depth of field problem with monovision.
Kit (not one of yours) is also doing great. She's gone from a raging flesh-eater into a loving little marshmallow. She just loves to be cuddled and kissed - although she still does bite George, I don't know why!!!
Sad to say we have only the four ferrets now, and won't be able to adopt any more until we can buy a house. There hasn't been one single bid on the place since it went on the market in June. Blah!!!! At least we don't have to carry two mortgages, and it will be rather nice to not worry about moving again for six months...
September 8, 2013:
Your little love maggie/munchkin is doing well. She saw her new vet a couple weeks ago. Maggie's appetite remains great, she plays and kissy-cuddles. She sends her love.
July 8, 2013:
We all arrived here safely yesterday, and the kids spent their first night in their pen with us in the temporary housing apartment. Geo and I went to visit the Washington shelter and met Kevin as well as Vondelle and Debbie, who actually provide most of the daily care and manage operations. The shelter is gorgeous!! And very well organized!! The ferrets are in fabulous shape but like everywhere, they're getting dumped on en masse right now. I will be an active volunteer as it's only about 15 minutes from here. They've also asked me to help with fundraising and educational outreach in addition to shelter care.
My kids will board with Vondelle & Debbie at their home for the next couple of weeks, until we move into a 2br unit. The kids seem well but I know they miss being able to run around freely. Penny seems in better spirits too and - YES - I found her snuggled with Kit in the pen yesterday morning! They will have expert care - these two ladies truly are experts, and they've learned a ton from some very generous local vets. They know a helluva lot more than I do. Oh, btw - Cathy Johnson was the vet we were talking about she has presented some important ferret medical info to local vet symposia.
This area is simply beautiful. It's clean, the roads and buildings and other infrastructure are attractive and well-maintained, the weather is gorgeous (I guess it does rain a lot in winter, vs. snow) and there are flower and veggie markets, crafts and antique stuff, and LOTS of parks and outdoor activities. That's not even counting the three national parks with mountains, beaches, etc. within a 2-hr drive. It's very upbeat, positive and economically strong - in short, the opposite of most of New York. The whole ambience is inspiring vs. depressing. And the region is not subject to natural disasters the way NY is. I believe we will be happy here - especially once the kids are settled in with us for good. Just a couple more weeks!!!! Sigh ...
Kisses to Big Foot and the others, and wishing you many blessings-
March 3, 2013:
Maggie is holding her own and I think the spleen has decreased in size a bit. She's due to go back to Cornell in a month or so for a follow-up exam. I wish you could have seen her roll over sideways three times (what I call "happy tumbles") and making her little ferret laugh. I am so blessed that she's doing so well when so many other DMK kids have passed over the bridge. And I thank God for every day she is with me on this Earth.
January 10, 2013:
Maggie is NOT adrenal as thought, she simply has packed on way too much fat with the soup I was giving her, so the poor girl is on a diet (not really, just her usual kibble and daily treats without the extra soup) and is getting more exercise. She is starting to slim down a bit and has stopped making the distress noises that the Cornell folks (and my local vet) ascribed to the fatty deposits in her tummy pushing into her esophagus and diaphragm. I'm to go back to Cornell in a few months for another ultrasound to measure the spleen, unless she becomes clinical in the meantime. She's perkier, eats and poops fine, everything seems normal otherwise.
Thanks for the info - will keep you posted!
December 01, 2012:
Good news about Maggie - I took her to Cornell yesterday and got another ultrasound plus chem panel and multiple aspirates. Got the results today. She does NOT have adrenalenoma!!! Both glands are normal size. What my local vet thought were enlarged adrenals were in fact cysts in Maggie's abdomen. The fact that the cysts were larger than normal and irregularly shaped, and also filled with tissue vs. clear fluid (per the ultrasound) pointed to lymphoma. It was a scary night and day until I got the histology results this afternoon, and they were negative. Thank God!
So, cautiously optimistic because of course they might have missed something depending on where the needles go in, but there was no sign of any neuroplasty in their samples and her chem panel indicated everything is fine with BG, kidneys, liver, enzymes, etc. I do have to get the CBC redone because it clotted before they were able to analyze it, but I am going back there anyway (since the vet credited that part of the bill) and Maggie is due for her distemper anyway. We were going to do it yesterday but our little babygirl strongly resisted going under the anesthesia -- and they figured with that added stress and the possible lymphoma, it was best to delay getting the shot.
Another interesting thing the vet told me today... it may actually be excessive fat that made Maggie's abdominal lymph nodes look so suspicious on the ultrasound. She is a big girl at 2.7 lbs, and some of that is her enlarged spleen, but they also believe she's quite obese which is totally my fault (spoiling her with soup made of kibble and baby food, and drizzled with Tone every morning and night). So I'm going to taper her off that (and Penny too, because she weighs 3 lbs!!!) until they only get soup as an occasional treat. The vet did also recommend regular followup ultrasounds to keep an eye on things as long as she remains asymptomatic. If she begins to present clinical signs of lymphoma or some other illness, that's a different story.
George says I'm the typical Italian mom, spoiling my kids with food... !!! Susann
Response: Susann this is wonderful wonderful news - Sounds like the correct choice.
Susann – Maggie is not obese – average weight for female is 1 to 3# she is under 3 and it is winter so she has her winter weight! Her being at this weight is good if she becomes ill she will have some weight on her to keep her going until she gets well. IMO these vets need to get off the obese soap box – you know as well as I that they can crash and burn in a 24 hr period the smaller/less weight they are the more at risk they are for recuperation.
You may be but your girls are NOT OBESE! Brenda
November 11, 2012:
Maggie is going to Cornell on Nov. 29 for a consultation. They said the bilateral surgery would be between $1400-$1600 inclusive of everything. That was a "pleasant" surprise. I tried to get the appointment moved up, but they wouldn't do it unless my vet called them and asked to expedite it. My vet declined to do that, saying she hasn't had any luck when she's tried that in the past, and in any case Maggie is not an emergency. She's eating and pooping fine, but her activity level has dropped and I know she's not comfortable. Just one more reason why surgery, not Des, is the best choice at this point.
October 25, 2012:
I just got Maggie (your little Munchkin :) back from having an ultrasound. She has bilateral adrenalenoma. Do you know if Dr. Gschrey does those? She'll also probably have the spleen out- there is a fluid-filled mass in there that could rupture, and the spleen itself is quite enlarged and misshapen. I will call the Dr. tomorrow but if you have any info on whether he does this or what he charges, could you let me know?
Maggie is very strong and her appetite and poops have all been fine. My Dr. says there's no sign of any lymphoma or malignancy, which is good. But those tumors are quite large already.
September 10, 2012:
Kids are doing OK; Maggie has an enlarged spleen that seems to have decreased in size somewhat over the past week, and I brought Beau in for diarrhea so he endured 10 days on an antibiotic that tasted as bad as Metronidozole (sp?) but it helped immensely. Am keeping a close eye out for recurrence of the problem. Luna has now bonded with Penny as well as Beau. She chooses to sleep with them. Sweet huh. :) Kit is the same, loving to me and a monster to everyone else, lol, and Penny is just perfect, very healthy and beautiful.
August 23, 2011:
Maggie may be going blind in her right eye now (you recall she got a cataract in her left eye about a year ago)... I can't see anything, but she is cocking her head at noises a bit more than usual so maybe she's developing one in her other eye as well. Otherwise she's doing fine and dandy!
Mittsie (NOLA rescue) is still happy, healthy and as playful as a girl half her age. Kit has become quite the kissy one, and she loves to be cuddled. She still has not developed a tolerance for George, though. He's done the Ferretone-on-hand thing more than once, and she ignores it to give him a chomp!! He tries to pet her back while I am cuddling her, and she twists her head to bite him! Poor guy! He's done nothing to deserve this treatment and I am grateful for his patience!
February 8, 2011:
Mina is still here, but barely. Poor baby girl. Ollie was just diagnosed with severe heart disease and has begun taking Lasix. Maggie and Beau are very happy and healthy. BTW is Maggie the "Munchkin" in the FML calendar? ;) Didn't see pix, just the names...
December 5, 2010:
More news - Maggie has developed a cataract and is blind in her right eye. The vet said there is no sign of injury or inflammation, and the other eye is fine. Maggie's at an odd age for this to happen, but the vet still thinks it was congenital, and just progressed over time.
Maggie's been a little more timid and scared, not of me or anyone else but just in general. I'm sure she's just a bit wigged about losing sight (she can still see light/dark) and is getting used to it.
July 21, 2010:
Hi Brenda, I was just going to email you! Geo and I are going on vacation from Sept. 7 (day after Labor Day) until the following weekend. Would you be able to have the kids at camp?
As for the kids, Mittsie (New Orleans rescue) is still doing fine but has not yet accepted Maggie and Beau. She will only hang out with Ollie and Mina, who are about 7.5 years old! She's a very active ferret, so needs a lot of play time with me.
Maggie is perfectly fat. LOL. She is sweeter and more affectionate than ever. Beau is also doing extremely well - he never ceases to amaze us with his strength and agility. He just loves life and such a joyful little soul! We love him to bits.
Mina is very agile for her age, too. She can still run up the stairs and likes to play. Her appetite is very good and her IBD (if that's what it is) has improve since I began adding probiotics to her diet.
Ollie is my problem boy right now. His appetite is also good, but his level of activity is low and the Deslorelin implant had no effect. His tail continues to lose fur. We are lucky that the Lupron held the disease in check for about two years, but now I fear surgery is his only chance. I am leaning toward Dr. Wagner in eastern PA, as he has a lot of experience with ferrets and ferret surgeries. I hope he will also be able to identify any other problems going on, e.g. insulinoma or cardiomyopathy.
Hope you are well - and let me know if you can take the kids for camp.
May 29, 2010:
Well Maggie and Beau-licious are fat and sassy, very affectionate and happy and liking to play up a storm.
April 24, 2010:
Maggie and Beau too - both are happy, healthy and very happy, and send hugs and kisses to their bestest shelter mommy!
February 8, 2010:
P.S. Beau and Maggie are doing GREAT. They are soooo affectionate and playful. Maggie has gotten positively fat.
January 12, 2010:
Maggie (aka Munchkin, a DMK survivor) has turned into a fat little sausage. She loves her daily soup THAT much. She's a kissy face who has taken to napping on my side of the bed. She likes playing with her human daddy, but sleeps on Mommy's side. :)
December 13, 2009:
Brenda, Attached are pics of Beau. He did manage to get a little plastic icicle off the tree, but didn't care about it at all once it was pulled down. :)
He was almost 3 lbs at his last vet visit! Maggie has gotten quite fat too, I'm afraid. She loves her soup THAT much.
S. and the furkids
October 28, 2009:
How are you feeling?? Better, I hope!!!
All the kids are doing fine. Ollie and Mina look great for their age (almost 7, wow!). They do spend most of their time sleeping, but their fur is thick and silky, good appetites and they love their treats. They give lots of kisses and still bounce around and dance sometimes.
Mittsie (not from Lakeroad) is still a beautiful little spitfire. She has become very affectionate, too, but still will have nothing to do with the newcomers.
Maggie and Beau are doing beautifully well. As you can see from the pix, Maggie is the same little minx who captured your heart (and mine). She loves Beau and the feeling is mutual. Beau had put on more than a half-pound when he went to the vet two weeks ago, and must be close to 3 lbs by now. Of course, being spoiled with fresh warm turkey soup twice a day will do that to a man! ;)
Everyone sends their love.
February 12, 2009:
The kids are fine. Maggie loves her new ladybug toy. Her fur is amazing - so thick and silky soft. She enjoys a lap cuddle most evenings and likes to be scratched "upside down" - I hold her in my arms horizontally, belly up, and scratch her back. She's happy and I am blessed. :)
October 4, 2008:
I wish you could see Maggie. We have a little cuddle at bedtime most nights. She comes to me, asking to play. She likes the stealth approach - sneak up, give me a cold nose on the foot and then dance away laughing. She is playing like a normal ferret now, god bless her!
Still have not tried to give her a bath. Am breaking her in verrrry slowly, having her in the bathroom with me while I wash up or take a shower, stroking her fur with wet fingers.
July 19, 2008:
Thought you might enjoy hearing about a couple more 'breakthroughs' with Maggie (Munchkin). She not only kisses and cuddles, she now lets me 'groom' her face and smoosh her ears! She has begun enjoying 'hand to paw combat,' i.e. hand wrestling. And she likes me to spoon-feed her soup. She seems quite comfortable running all over the house. :)
July 13, 2008:
She and Mittsie are making friends. Actually she's OK with everyone as long as she's in her pen and they come to 'visit,' but outside of the pen my older kids are a little uncomfortable. Maggie is learning how the other ferrets play. I never see a bottle brush tail.
July 10, 2008:
Just wanted to tell you Maggie McCricket (aka Munchkin) is jumping around dooking again and sends her love. She's had her pawnails trimmed and never even twitched. She loves her new daddy even more than she loves her mommy (I think, lol). Although last night, she did cuddle in mommy's lap for almost 10 minutes, and gave mommy some big sloppy kisses when she decided it was time to run around again. She and my other four are slowly getting accustomed to each other but Maggie still prefers to sleep in her own little cage (or under the sofa!).
June 27, 2008:
Last night I kept telling her how much I wish you could see her. She's doing fine. She dooks, dances and plays like crazy. It's almost like watching the DMK kids the first time they were let out of those horrible shoeboxes. It's that joyful. She even lets me 'mush' her a little bit! She comes to me asking to play/interact.
June 23, 2008:
Geo did get a picture of her tonight playing and dancing with a new toy. Then I cuddled her and he tried to get a pic but the memory card was full!!! Arrrgh. I have been so busy today, it's almost 10:30 and I have been working since 7 a.m. and I still have another report to write and send before I can quit tonight. Tomorrow will be even worse. I will get you a pic as soon as possible. You would not believe this - I didn't believe it! - but Geo played with Munchkin tonight and she dooked and danced! They played with an area rug, the fringe, curled her up in the rug and patted her when she burrowed under it. She loved it. Geo wants to rename her "Jet." Because that is how she acts. ;) She is the fastest, most lithe little ferret I have ever seen. She certainly does not seem like 10+ months old (since last August, before the rescue)??? Could she be one of the kits born at Jeri's perhaps??
June 22, 2008:
We're home, she's fine, I'm sitting here eating dinner while she explores the living room. So far, all is well. Thank you for entrusting her to me. I will do my very best to make her happy. She has already eaten some soup. :) Will keep you posted!! She's running around in a fit of ferret exploration. She accepted an N-Bone from me, and I have soup ready. Her poops look fine. She is a little skittish but not scared or nippy. She let me pick her up and give kisses, and although she didn't give me the face washes I got yesterday, she did give me a kiss before asking to be allowed to explore. You didn't lie to her, if she indeed found a human to love....Will keep you posted. You know I saw how horrible it was for these McKids, and I just wanted to keep giving and giving and giving to them. That's how I feel now - I will keep doing that for her. If she's not happy, she will come back to you. Just wanted to let you know, she's war dancing and doing somersaults right now ;)
I will get you a pic! Geo tried to get a pic of her kissing me but the camera battery was dead. :((She did not want to go back into her cage this morning. I have been luring her with bits of NBones and she loves them. A few minutes ago she ate her NB while I cuddled her and kissed and stroked her. Then, she gave me several kisses - twice! All is going well :)
April 19, 2008:
Munchkin got into the rice box this morning; she discovered it is a fun place to be. Up until today if I set her in there she would jump out of there the second I set her in.
This morning however she was snorkeling in the rice. When I set down on the stool to watch her, she got out went up the tube to the toy box, rolled over on her back and tried to drag me into the toy box with her. I do believe we have a happy, centered little ferret now.
She graduated to another play room this week and finds it to be an excellent room to hang out in. She is now up to 4 of the 8 play rooms. The real test and the last room she will get to be in; is the Kitchen, it is the biggest, it is the most difficult to get them out of if they do not want to be caught, it is the one that allows them into my personal space. I have found that this room is the one that they get last because it is the most difficult to feel safe in. So for now she has learned 4 playrooms she is loving life here at the farm.
March 15, 2008:
A milestone happened this morning; I have been keeping Munchkin in smaller play areas because she is so afraid of every thing. She graduated into the library a couple of weeks ago, but she is so scared that she spends a lot of her time hiding in the tube that is wrapped around the pool of balls that is in the middle of the room, looking, watching and taking in all the activity around her in a safe place. The smaller of the 3 rooms I have been giving her have kept her happy and busy with the toys, tunnels and hidey holes she has to explore. This morning I placed her in the bathroom, normally she gets into the tub to play in the tubes that are in there but as I was walking through the kitchen she was standing, standing mind you at the barrier looking at me wanting something. I stopped to talk with her which usually sends her running to hide, but not today, she stood there giving me the “well is it my turn to move to another room”? I picked her up and moved her to the library. She immediately headed for the tube, however this time she got in the tube, turned herself around and started grabbing the toys around the entrance of that tube pulling them in with her. I believe she has discovered she is a ferret, free to roam the playrooms with no fear of being hurt, cold or ignored. I believe Munchkin has become one with herself. She has 3 more play areas to explore, I think, I will, this next school vacation time coming up give her one more new room to test and explore.
Munchkin/Bloom January 13, 2008:
Her name was changed to fit her personality; Munchkin was just hilarious this morning she was dancing and dooking so hard with me she jumped right into the water bowl. I put the bed Cathy brought back to her in the hammock I had in the cage, she climbed into that and is fast asleep. I have lowered her cover another inch. Munchkin almost walked out into my hands this morning. She is still very uncomfortable being handled. I have to actually catch her and hold her up next to my body to keep hold of her.
January 10, 2008:
Bloom was awake and peeking out of the 2" of space I have given her to be able to see out if she wishes; she was extremely agitated this morning. I had to put gloves on to get her out because she was having nothing to do with me picking her up or taking ferretone to get her out of the cage. However once in the play pen she bottle brushed and started to dance. Jumping and diving into the box of toy eggs, under the stuffed toys in and around the toy boxes and beds. She even jumped up and down looking up at me as I leaned over to see what see what she was doing. I think she is starting to realize she is here to stay, she is safe and going to be cared for. Still no bites.
January 8, 2008:
I put Bloom in one of the boarder cages; it is smaller and higher off the floor. I covered the front of it leaving about 2” from the top for some light, air and visual. I just went in to check on her to offer some love and ferretone. Must be she is well balanced and feeling safe because when I opened the cage she did not come springing out in fright. I tried to uncover her and get her to come see me, she did not budge. I am thinking this is the first real sleep she has gotten in a very long time. So I let her sleep although I did touch the bottom of her hammock to make sure it was warm.
January 7, 2008:
I gave her Bloom a hidey this morning, one of the cloth igloos so she has a choice where she wants to hide. I gave her the play pen this morning for about 4 hours. I am starting her out slow and small. So far no bites, each time I pick her up I offer her the bottle of ferretone for a few licks, then I tell her she is at the end of her journey, she will stay with me for the rest of her life UNLESS she finds a human she has fallen in love with then she can go.