Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ferrety Fun

Ok, I'll post a few pictures of one of my ferrets. I just happen to have these handy.
Ferrets. They can get into a "dead sleep" that will scare the hell out of you. One of my boys did that to me today.

I think, since I'm about to post a few of his pictures, I'll finally try to tell the story about Mordecai.

My Mordecai is a privately bred ferret. I adopted him and his brother because it would be nice to have a pair who don't come from Marshall Farms. I have lost more ferrets to adrenal disease and other problems... it's just outright sad.

But all wasn't exactly smooth sailing. First I lost Mordecai's brother, Zeek. Turns out he was born with a heart defect. :-( Rest in peace, darling Zeeky boy. We love you and we miss you!
Then I had to get Mordecai neutered. I took him to a vet that my ferret shelter friend recommended.

First they kinda did the surgery wrong. They neutered him like a dog when they should've done it like a cat. So this caused swelling and scar tissue inside my boy. We had to deal with massive bleeding and an infection too. The poor sweetheart.

So we get him on a road to recovery from that eventually, but then he starts having another problem. Turns out he had a hair ball in his tummy. That had to be surgically removed, only 3 weeks after his first surgery. (Ferrets cannot throw up their hair balls like cats can.)

Then more complications arise from his neutering. Now the scar tissue has cut off his urethra. The doc had to cut out a part of it, insert a catheter and we just had to wait for the urethra to regenerate over the catheter. Meanwhile have you ever met a ferret? Just how do you keep them from chewing on things??

The poor boy had to have a party cup attached to a harness to work like an Elizabethan collar. Ooooh, he hated that of course. I did too. But it was necessary. I had to make some adjustments to it and we had to hand feed him pieces of food.

It was a round-the-clock operation. I was up all night with him, worrying about him and attending to him. Because of the permanent catheter, I would have to clean him frequently to try and prevent urine scald.

Even though all this was the vet's "fault" to begin with, I will admit they did right by us. They didn't charge for the third surgery because it was a complication from the first surgery. (remember: 1st neutering, 2nd stomach hair ball removal, 3rd urethra surgery.)

And they were willing to babysit him all day long for 2.5 weeks while we waited for his urethra to heal. I would drop him off before school and pick him up before they closed. (one time I had to take a math test on NO sleep because I was up with him the entire night before.)
Everybody fell in love with him at this point. When he's not fussy from being uncomfortable (understandable!), he's a lovey dovey boy who demands and soaks up attention. One day he was being really pesty about being in a cage in the back at the vet's, so a receptionist said she just held him in her arms all day long while she answered phones. Attention sponge!

So that is the story of Mordecai, in a nutshell. I tried to sum it up fairly simply. It was quite the ordeal. And it was just worse that we had lost Zeek only 3 months earlier.
But my Mordecai is doing very well now which I am extremely happy and thankful everyday for. He's such a momma's boy. :-)

See? Momma's Boy! :-)

Silly boy, sleeping with his head out of the hammock, tongue out of the mouth.

This is actually the paw of another ferret of ours, Luke. But how cute!!

ETA: I forgot to add in the story about the bathtub.
Mordecai had to live in a small cage up in our bedroom so I could tend to him all night long, plus we had to limit his movement. So here is the poor boy in his cage in our room:
(He was really lanky at this point due to all that he's been through.)

And then The Bathtub. He would be so antsy about being cooped up that I put some towels in the bathtub with some toys and let him "play". It was better than nothing.


Scott said...

Hmmm... I don't get ferrets. But did you know that CrazyRN2B (on my medical blogroll) has something like 30 ferrets? You might check out her blog.