Ferrets' blog

A blog with news about my ferrets: Tata, Izzie and Liira. There will also be reminiscense about Tenchi, Adric, Ker Avon, Ryo-Ohki, Nyssa, Lady Ayeka, Romana, Pertwee, Podo, Kodo, Ella, Zephyr and Chin Soon, all of whom are gone now.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Nyssa Again :( & Romana's Good News

Nyssa has chronic diarrhea and is losing weight again. She was emaciated already so there isn't much to lose. Dr. Rosing had given us diarsanyl, which we used to control the diarrhea when lymphoma attacked Lady Ayeka's GI tract, for just this eventuality. Nyssa started on it tonight. I am very, very worried about her right now.

I should have posted this last week: Romana's pathology report came back. The growth was completely benign. My littlest girl is just fine.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Latest News From North Carolina

I spoke to Summer yesterday and today and got the latest on the ferrets.

Romana is healing beautifully and is back with the others. Summer had me on portable speakerphone and Romana ran to my voice and followed wherever the phone went. Summer thinks she misses me. I wish I could tell her I miss her too. I miss all the ferrets. I hate having to travel and be away from them for weeks at a time.

Nyssa was quite active yesterday but Summer told me what I already saw: she's so terribly thin she reminds us of Ryo-Ohki at the end of her life. As long as we can keep Nyssa happy and comfortable... I just hope I get some more time with her.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Romana Came Through Surgery Just Fine

Romana is home with Summer and she came through surgery just fine. She's sleeping. I'm told her little ear doesn't look bad at all. Now all we have to do is wait for the pathology results.

I miss having the ferret around all the time. I'm doing some work to change that even if it means changing jobs. We'll see what happens...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Vet Visit -- Mixed News

Nyssa, Romana, and Chin Soon (in order of age, most senior ferret first) went to the vet today. The report was mixed.

The good news, believe it or not, is about Nyssa. Though she is very thin she is actually maintaining her weight again. Considering what she is going through Dr. Weston thinks she is doing very well indeed. The toe is healing as expected and the nail should grow back. We stay the course.

The so-so news is for Chin Soon. We are going to wait and see how adrenal symptoms progress. Dr. Weston wants to be sure that she can clearly see which gland to take when she goes in.

The not so good news is for Romana who goes for surgery Thursday. Her ear tag has grown and Dr. Weston wants to remove it and send it for pathology. There is always some risk when you put a senior ferret under anesthesia even for minor surgery. Please keep Romana in your thoughts.

More when I know more...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bath Night and Departure Day

I got home with the ferrets Friday night and Summer had just arrived and was waiting for me. It was late so we just got them situated in the big cage. Last night was bath night. The little weasels were smelly and definitely due. It had probably been two months since their last bath, which for ferrets is a pretty decent amount of time. Too many baths and you dry out their skin. Then they produce more oils and smell more. Six to eight weeks seems to be ideal.

As always the ferrets protested being wet mightily and were all stressed out and hyper as they dried themselves. As always their coats looked absolutely beautiful when all was done. Even Nyssa, with her thin hair, looks much, much better.

Nyssa had a good weekend. Between coming home, seeing Summer again, and, of course, the bath, she was stimulated and more active. She's horribly skinny and emaciated despite a voracious appetite. That's the cancer that is slowly killing her. Still, with a fluffy coat and some attitude she definitely seemed happier and more her old self.

Today was terribly depressing. I have to beginning traveling by air for work again starting tomorrow and can't have the ferrets with me. Summer took them back to North Carolina. I miss them already. At least I had six good weeks with them.

Tomorrow Chin Soon, Romana, and Nyssa go to see Dr. Holly Weston, their regular vet down in North Carolina. I'll wait to write about it until I know what Dr. Weston thinks.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nyssa's Latest Misfortune -- and a Cute Chin Soon Story

I ended up having to run Nyssa to a Veterinary Emergency Clinic here in Pittsburgh. When I let the ferrets out after work last night she had a nail caught in her hammock. I ran for the nail clipper but much to my shock she had freed herself -- by ripping her nail out. The entire quick was exposed and bleeding. She ran around as if nothing had happened.

The vet, Dr. Rexford, seemed very ferret knowledgeable. He told me animals in the last stages of cancer don't feel or show pain the same way as other animals. I guess that's a mercy. Anyway, it was disinfected and she's on antibiotics to prevent infection. If she lives long enough it will grow back. It looks absolutely horrible, though.

My other ferret story is a cute one. The other night I forgot to do a nose count and Chin Soon wasn't in the cage. I found out when I woke up. She was curled up with me in bed. Very sweet, but I'm sure glad I didn't roll over in my sleep and squash her.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Creatures of Habit

When Nyssa was really feeling poorly a couple of weeks ago she was having trouble climbing into the litter pan. The net result was that she'd end up going on the plastic mat in front. I didn't like having to clean this up and Nyssa, a very well trained weasel, was clearly unhappy about it as well. I found a square litter pan with a much larger and lower cutout in front and put it in Nyssa's preferred corner figuring this would help her. Nyssa's reaction: she'd rather run across the living room, down the hall, and into my office to use the triangular corner litter pan she's used to. Thankfully she's feeling better and not having problems getting in.

Old ferrets seem to be very much creatures of habit. That doesn't mean they don't learn new things and pick up new behaviors. They clearly do. They just don't seem to like change if they can avoid it. I see that with Romana as well.

Speaking of changing behavior, when Nyssa has bad days she has trouble controlling her body temperature. She shivers a lot. Podo, Kodo, Ella, and Zephyr came with lots of sleep sacks, fuzzy padded cloth tubes, and different hanging things with folds and fabric to sleep in. Nyssa, who always preferred open hammocks, started using these a lot in recent months, especially taking to a homemade knit tube that Celia made for Ella and Zephyr when they were hers. (Celia, Ella and Zephy's original owner, passed away in January.) Romana is very close to Nyssa so she started joining in, as did Chin Soon. Now I rarely see ferrets in the open hammocks except Nyssa when she's feeling better. If she's warm enough she still loves her hammock.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I don't know why, but...

I don't know why, but Nyssa is doing much better. Yes, I know there is no cure for lymphoma, but she seems happier, a bit more active, and certainly more affectionate that she's been in a while. This morning she, like Ella, followed me around like a puppy and wanted to be held. When Nyssa isn't feeling well she wants to be left alone. She also handled a little aggressiveness from Zephyr last night very quickly and effectively. There's still no doubt which ferret is in charge and it's Nyssa.

Chin Soon, OTOH, is still a little bundle of energy but she has an appointment to see the vet which will likely lead to adrenal surgery.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lots of Playtime; Zephyr's Little Adventure

The ferrets had about 13 hours of playtime as I left them free roaming in the room last night. They were mostly well behaved and probably slept through a lot of the time but at least they weren't caged.

I forgot their nail clipper and they are all way overdue for nail trimming. Well... at 4:30 AM Zephyr's nail was caught deep in a polar fleece toy which was suddenly no fun for her. I was able to scruff her and gently work it out. I guess I'll have to pick up a set of nail clippers tonight.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Romana's Revenge, Chin Soon May Need Surgery, and Nyssa's Amazing Recovery

Romana, bless her little weasel heart, made sure I didn't get much sleep last night. I forgot the Plexiglas I use to keep the ferrets out of the hotel room kitchen at home. Without that I had to cage the ferrets to keep them safe while I tried to sleep and I only have the little travel cages. Romana didn't like being cooped up in that at all and decided to spend two solid hours noisily working on getting the cage door open. I am going to Home Depot after work and getting a new piece of Plexiglas. That way she'll be able to run to her hearts content. Instead she'll likely sleep in her favorite blanket.

Nyssa was really full of it this morning. I even saw her little backwards war dance, something that I haven't seen literally in months. I don't know why or how but Nyssa has definitely been feeling better the last few days. I know there is no cure for lymphoma but I'm sure glad to have the old Nyssa around again.

The only bad news, and it IS bad, is that I think Chin Soon has adrenal disease. The hair loss on her tail is spreading upwards. That means an expensive surgery is in her immediate future. I am going to wait until she goes back to North Carolina in less than two weeks and have Dr. Weston take a good look at her. Of the 14 ferrets I've had over the years Chin Soon will be the tenth to have adrenal disease. Only Tenchi, Adric, Kodo, and Zephyr have been spared that experience. At least adrenal is almost always curable by surgery. Chin Soon is only two years old.