Snuggler, AKA Ralphie, AKA General Beauregard, AKA Beau
• Surrendered to the Shelter on August 19, 2009. He left for the Rainbow Bridge February 9, 2015.
• General Beauregard found a forever home on August 30, 2009! Read his story & updates below.
February 17, 2015:
I wanted to let you know that Beau passed over the bridge nine days ago and yesterday, Maggie (DMK Munchkin) went to join him. What happened to Beau still isn't clear, but a leading exotic veterinary pathologist in California (Drury Reavill) is working on his case. I'll let you know what she finds, if you want.
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.
October 21, 2014:
I wanted to let you know about Beau and to pick your brain about prednisone. Beau began crying while pooping last Thursday, and Friday he was at the vet. He may have lymphoma on top of adrenalenoma and insulinoma. The vet thought it might be helicobacter or some other GI thing, but his CBC is all normal except for a very low BG (27).
What I wanted to ask is, what's the dosage of prednisone you're used to giving the shelter kids? The doc said Beau's daily dose of 0.25 cc (2x per day) is almost "toxic" and shouldn't go any higher. I didn't think the dose was that high...
He said Beau is pretty much done with medical intervention and should have surgery at this point.
Geo and I will do everything we can for Beau. We love him so much, and so do Penny, Maggie & Kit.
May 28, 2014:
Beau, our beautiful little tripawed, had an upper front tooth pulled last month. He got a cavity at the gum line and an infection was starting. He also had Xrays not long ago to check his bones. Remember his previous vet in NY said he had degenerative bone disease. Well, the Xrays here showed his bones are in very good shape, thank God. He got a Des implant a couple of months ago and has since grown back all his tail fur. He's my gorgeous boy, happy and playful.
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...
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:
Beau and Penny are also doing just fine, fat and sassy the both of them. Luna had her Des implant in January and she has already begun to grow a new coat. She looks very funny because most of her old (longer) fur is gone, and the new growth is kind of peachy beige and very short. She has a ferret buzz cut, you could say. Her Mohawk is gone too (from when she was shaved before having the two - benign - skin tumors removed from her back). Her attitude is sunnier too, and she has begun playing again. My fifth ferret Kit, the one from Triple F who ended up in someone's cold garage, is still very happy and has figured out that she doesn't have to bite other humans (at least not ALL the time!).
Oh! I meant to email you about the five starving kids who were rescued. You'd said you could take them but they are still at the small shelter near me, got their final shots last week and have fattened up quite nicely. They really are a sweet group and have integrated well with April's other shelter kids (there are only three or four others, her shelter is very small). Thank you for offering to take them in and I am glad that April was able to afford to get them vetted here, saving you that expense. God knows you probably have your hands more than full, as always.
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.
June 22, 2012:
Beau is fine. His wound has healed perfectly and the stitches came out yesterday. He can run around now with "no restrictions," says his vet. Thank God!!!
Luna is also doing very well. She gets her soup twice a day, loves to sleep in the flannel pajama pants, and she loves Beau. After his amputation she snuggled up next to him and licked his neck.
She's good around Penny too, but gets annoyed when Penny tries to instigate a play session. I haven't introduced her to anyone else. She gets plenty of love from her mom!
June 15, 2012:
Phew, it's been a very interesting 12 hours. Beau was doing great all yesterday, the signs of recovery were all positive. Swelling had disappeared, he was eating and pooping just fine, etc. The vet had said during our follow-up appt that it would be fine to move him into his pen that afternoon. I decided to wait and keep him in the carrier (it's big) for a few more hours until after his evening pain medication had time to kick in, and then let him loose in the pen before bedtime.
So I lift him out of the carrier, it's like 10:30 p.m., and see that the dressing had completely slipped off the wound and was down around his abdomen! George and I phoned the emergency vet on call for the county -- not my regular vet -- and luckily he was able to meet us at the clinic right away. He put a new dressing on Beau.
Well that dressing also slipped down this morning, and it had been a pretty tight bandage so I took him back to my regular vet for re-dressing. That one lasted less than an hour before it came off. My vet said the reason for the bandage isn't to protect the wound or prevent infection, but to keep him from chewing the stitches.
And since the darned things refuse to stay on, the bottom line now is no more bandages. Beau seems to be fine, although his mom is a nervous wreck. The wound is healing well with no signs of infection or swelling, etc. and he isn't chewing his stitches (thank God)! Of course it's pretty ugly but I was prepared for that after watching some post-amputation YouTube videos. Beau is resting comfortably. He's probably relieved to have the constricting bandages off and tired out from all the fussing. Right now he's falling asleep on a pile of blankets in his pen. As someone else said who emailed me about Beau, now he's gonna have to learn to be a tripod. S.
June 13, 2012:
Beau made it through surgery, thank God, and he's actually coming home tonight! The vet said her staff wouldn't be doing any more nursing than I would be, and I'll be able to give him closer supervision as well. He's got a thick bandage and I'll bring him back tomorrow for that to be changed and the wound checked, and for more sedatives & pain medication, but he'll be here with his family tonight. Sweet precious boy - I am SOOO happy he's coming home!!! Susann
June 3, 2012:
Beau is doing OK on pain meds (Metacam, like $50 for a small bottle!). Am still in shock and yesterday was a bad day. But other than not romping as much as he used to, his appetite is fine and everything else is normal. He has a pen set up in the living room where he can sleep, so he doesn't have to go up and down cage stairs in the dark to eat or go potty. I'm just very, very scared of what will happen during surgery June 13. There'd be no worries if he hadn't reacted badly to the anesthesia. If he doesn't make it, it will kill me too.
Today is also Luna's one-week anniversary. She can run around freely with everyone in the house except Kit (haven't even tried it). She doesn't interact or play with anyone, but occasionally sniffs and allows herself to be sniffed all over with no bottle brush tail or other problem. She seems settled and content, but hasn't yet responded to my overtures to play.
Rebekah and I agreed to do the home visit on June 18. So glad those kids found a great home.
June 1, 2012:
I took Beau in for his distemper yesterday and asked the vet to examine his front leg again. As you know, he began showing lameness about 18 months ago but it worsened significantly over the past month. He went back today for sedation and X-ray, because palpitation revealed a possible dislocation, extreme lateral movement in the elbow joint and other abnormalities.
Today, Beau stopped breathing almost as soon as they put him under anesthesia. They were able to reverse it and revive him before he went into respiratory or cardiac arrest, but he was turning blue before they got him awake. They continued the procedure with a different anesthetic protocol and got the Xrays. Bottom line is, he needs an amputation. That's the least devastating for him in terms of pain, quality of life and expense (other than etherisation). His leg/elbow joint is dislocated (subluxation) and the whole group of bones that meet in his elbow area have pretty much dissolved. He's in pain and we could try to maintain him on pain meds but odds are it's a slow-growing tumor (not malignant thank God) that is eating away the bone, which will only get worse, plus he'll grow a tolerance to the meds and the types of meds you can use with ferrets are extremely limited. I don't want to do that. Another option was Cornell where it would cost thousands of dollars for basically experimental work trying to reconstruct the bones, and would probably end with amputation anyway. Amputation alone will cost almost $1k at my local vet so it would be 2-3x that at Cornell.
Lots of animals do just fine minus one leg, and I believe this is true of ferrets as well. If you have any thoughts or experience, I'd welcome them... S.
August 23, 2011:
Beau is going to the vet tomorrow for his rabies shot, and I'll ask her to look at his left front leg again because he has a slight but chronic limp. Some days are worse than others (depends how much he's been jumping around and playing). This is the same leg he injured last year in one of his acrobatic leaps on or off of our furniture. Soft tissue injury - no break. He was on bed rest and pain meds for two successive weeks, but then he goes back to exploring and jumping, and he hurts the leg all over again. Short of keeping him penned all the time - which I will NOT do - maybe we'll just have to accept that his enthusiasm and athletic ability is gonna get him in trouble sometimes! I give him a wee bit of Metacam when it seems bothersome.
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:
Beau is as beautiful and lovey as ever. He's a complete rip - he attacks towels and pajama pants, loves to get smooshed in the bedclothes, and has the thickest, softest fur I've ever seen. No wonder Maggie fell in love with him. :)
Oh! Almost forgot - I would say the 18th is best for me, but don't you have a birthday around that time? ;)
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:
Beau has settled in beautifully, and gave me my first full-face wash yesterday! He loves to playfight with pillows, blankets and my computer mouse. Mittsie (my off-the-streets-of-New-Orleans girl) is a little put out because Beau and Maggie have made friends with everyone but her. I even found Ollie and Beau taking a nap together last week!
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:
Hi Brenda! 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. S.
October 5, 2009:
Beau and Maggie just spent a happy couple of hours running around the house and playing. Beau likes to play with me, too. He and Maggie will both run up to me and jump on my leg so I will chase them and "smoosh" them when captured. :)
Now, they are both sound asleep. Wore themselves out! lol!
September 25, 2009:
Well The Ferret With No Name now has one - or a new one, I should say, since the one I gave him initially (Ralphie, aka "Snuggler") just didn't seem to take.
We've already had a queen in this household (Mina), a prince (Ollie, after his namesake Prince Ali of Disney fame), an empress (the late, great Josephine) and two princesses, Maggie and Mittsie. (Actually my husband prefers to call her Cleopatra, but that's another story.)
We figured we needed to balance things out a bit. Lend some structure and discipline to this gang of pampered, fur-bearing royalty. And so we now have General Beauregard - Beau for short, and isn't he a beau? We think so, and we certainly hold him in high regard. So lovable, he won the heart of Maggie, who formerly turned away all suitors.
We love him too, and he finally has a name!!! :D
September 7, 2009:
Here’s a picture of Ralphie ((Snuggler) and me. Not the best, but he's a wiggler!
Thank you so much for entrusting his precious little life to me.
September 4, 2009:
George began calling him "Smuggler" which is cute but too hard to pronounce. I've begun calling him Ralphie. He has such a wide open little face, like a happy, innocent little boy (if that's not an oxymoron? ;)) looking for a bit of mischief. He just looks like a Ralphie.
September 2, 2009:
They're fine! They continue to play and sleep together, although not 100% of the time. It's really wonderful to see Maggie playing like any other ferret. :) It's really miraculous, such a joy!! They are both very frustrated right now as they can only run around the lower level and our bedroom - no access to the kitchen and the rest of the house because the cabinet doors are still off.
We're still trying out new names for Snuggler. George doesn't like Periwinkle or Little Bit, so I'm still looking. ;)
August 31st 2009:
Snuggler was sleeping in Maggie's hammock (she also has a cuddle cup in her cage, on a separate floor). Maggie went into the hammock, gave him a bunch of kisses and then snuggled next to him and fell asleep! I watched the whole thing, ready to intervene if necessary.
I left the cage door open for them and this morning, found Snuggler in the bed (our spare bed, downstairs) and Maggie sleeping in her cup.
So far, so good!
August 31st 2009:
OK it was not a fluke. I just went to get Maggie and Snuggler out of their cage to let them run around in another room, and they were both in the hammock!
Mission accomplished. :D
August 30th 2009:
...guess who's sleeping together!!!!
Oh man, are we up to our ears in ferrets. Snuggler (named by our shelter friends that saved him) a new little guy came in, he was found out running around in Hilton on Monday the 17th, I was contacted by the person that found him. I got in touch with shelter friends in Hilton who met up with the person that had this little boy.
The shelter friends kept him until Wednesday when he was scheduled to see our favorite Doc for check up and vaccines before being brought to the shelter.
Jackie R. was scheduled to take little Chloe up to see our favorite Doc because she has a cough I could not cure.
The new guy Snuggler’s appointment was at 8m Chloe was due in at 11am. I met Jackie in Honeoye at 9 am she grabbed Chloe, headed to Brockport. Miss Gail took Snuggler in at 8. Jackie brought them both home when she was done with Chloe.
Snuggler came in full of ticks, fleas and ear mites; our favorite doc treated him with Frontline and sent him home. Snuggler was isolated to his cage and the play pen, each time I put him away the 2 places he was allowed to be in were stripped and immediately put in the washer. He is now clean of all pests.
The week of August 22nd Miss Susann T. brought her brood to camp so she and hubby could paint their kitchen. Miss Susann met Snuggler and asked me to see if he would make friends with little Maggie. I call her Maggie Munchkin she is the little DMK biter that arrived for rehabilitation on January 6, 2008. She found and fell in love with Miss Susann.
The scenario goes like this: Maggie is in the library where she starts her morning at 4 am; once I have the shelter settled I take Maggie and Snuggler up to my space and set them each down on opposite sides of the room. I commence to checking my email while they work their way to the middle of my living room. When I hear some commotion I stop what I am doing and watch the 2 of them. OMG they are bouncing, running and chasing as though they are long lost friends.
In and out of the tubes I have behind the couch and love seat. I repeat this process for the remainder of Maggie’s stay here at camp keeping Miss Susann T. informed on the progress. By Sunday when Miss Susann T. came back to pick up her brood Snuggler and Maggie were great friends the only process that had not been done was getting them sleeping in the same cage. I opted to allow Susann T. to work on that when she got them all home.