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.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wisconsin Weasel Report for 12/29/2005

Chin Soon managed to defeat my barrier and get into the kitchen. I'll have to have a creative new barrier tomorrow for playtime. She's clearly taken lessons is escapology from Romana while I wasn't looking. Now that Romana is gone Chin Soon is clearly going to take over giving me a fright by showing up in seemingly impossible places. Thankfully she came out from behind the refrigerator on her own. Eight years of experience has taught me that ferret proofing never ends and nothing is ever really ferret proof.

Nyssa continues to do surprisingly well. She has good times and bad but tonight she was active and seemed to be in better spirits. After a day with tummy problems (lymphoma in her GI tract is getting worse) she managed to go to the litter pan normally and collect a treat. Climbing into the litter pan is sometimes tough for her nowadays but not tonight. This probably sounds trivial but having her in good spirits, playful, and affectionate is a wonderful thing to come home to after a rough day. She's also a well trained weasel and knows that going to the litter pan is the right thing. Some of my other ferrets who had problems at the end of their life and were visibly upset when they missed. Nyssa isn't that bad but she clearly is happier when she can do for herself the way she wants to.

Zephyr and Ella are both people ferrets and little attention hounds. Thankfully I seem to be able to give them enough individual attention lately to keep them happy. Zephyr is definitely giving me kisses more to show how much she appreciates. That or she wants another treat. Probably both.

All in all the ferrets seem to be at home in my new place. I wish I felt the same way...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Nyssa Is Eating On Her Own :)

Nyssa is eating and drinking on her own again. I didn't rush quickly enough to give her what she wanted and Nyssa clearly decided she was hungry and the regular food mix was acceptable.

I think what happened is that Nyssa was feeling really puny and he stomach had been upset. Spoiling her and encouraging her may have gotten her past a little crisis. I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief.

At least now I don't have to come home for lunch (20 minutes each way) this week.

Spoiled Brat, Part III

Nyssa, my spoiled little brat, had normal output last night and this morning for the first time in a week. She also climbed to the upper hammock for the first time in Wisconsin. She now expects me to feed her every time she wakes up. She ate quite a bit of Totally Ferret (for older pet ferrets) from my hand again this morning and she definitely seems stronger and slightly heavier. I'm going to have to buy another little bag of TF senior as well if that's all she's going to eat. Her hydration is clearly much better too.

Yeah, doing it this way is a pain but... I see real improvement in Nyssa for the first time since the move and at this point in her life that is another minor miracle.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Nyssa May Be Spoiled But It's Working Out Well

The ferrets got about four hours of playtime tonight. Nyssa got up not once but twice, running around for a full hour, the most I've seen in a long time. OK, she didn't run around the whole time. She wanted me to feed her on three separate occasions. Oh, and yes, I obliged. This was a ferret that didn't want to eat or drink and appeared to be on death's door. Now she still is skin and bones but she's active, alert, and demanding. She also wanted to be played with, held, carried around... If this is what it takes to keep my old girl going into the new year I'm all for it.

The three younger ferrets were also full of it tonight. Zephyr is clearly jealous of the attention Nyssa is getting. She jumped Nyssa once and looked for attention from me about all night. I tried to give Zephyr a bunch of one on one time as well. I made sure not to neglect Chin Soon or Ella in the process. Needless to say I didn't get anything done tonight. I think the ferrets were happy about that.

Is Nyssa Spoiled Rotten?

Yesterday I didn't notice Nyssa at the food bowl at all. In recent months, certainly since she broke the one canine tooth, she eats relatively slowly and, fighting lymphoma, for a long period of time. I just didn't see it yesterday. Then, at playtime when she did wake up and come out she looked thinner than ever and really weak. She did go to where I give her medicine looking for it. I'm sure what she was looking for was the Ferretone I give her to make the medicine go down easier and the Ferretvite (high calorie supplement) which she loves. After that I took out some Totally Ferret, the senior formula for older ferrets, and offered in by hand. She ate piece after piece eagerly for maybe 20 minutes and took water from a small bowl I gave her.

Now it seems the only way Nyssa will eat is if I hand feed her. There are three possible explanations: 1) She really is at the end and is only eating to please me, 2) She is doing this because it gets her extra attention, which she clearly wants now, or 3) I've spoiled her rotten. I hate to say it but I do think it's a combination of all three. Average lifespan after diagnosis of lymphoma is three months. Nyssa is in her fourteenth month with the disease. Her vet has called it "late stage" for a while now. When we asked Dr. Weston about other treatment options she felt Nyssa was too far gone for anything else. Despite all of that Nyssa kept playing and acting like she still had and has a good quality of life.

Please understand that I am not forcing anything on Nyssa. I simply offer some food in my hand and she eats it on her own. I offer all I can to keep her happy and keep her going. Having said that, when Nyssa decides it's time to go I won't try to keep her longer at this point. I'll cry, of course, but when she tells me she wants to say goodbye I'll love her enough to let her go.

In the meanwhile I am perfectly willing to spoil Nyssa rotten. She's the last of my original groups of ferrets from the spring/summer of 1998 and she's an absolute sweetheart.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Ferret Update

Nyssa has been feeling a bit better and has been very active three of the last four evenings: playing with the fleece squeaky toy, begging for treats, relocating her precious doggie, and stealing polar fleece balls. Chin Soon, of course, believes all polar fleece balls are precious and belong to her. Chin Soon's way of getting even is to steal and wrestle with Nyssa's doggie. It's all very funny.

Nyssa is definitely weaker than she was and she is still slowly going downhill. She no longer has the strength to wrestle and no longer fights back. She just gets upset and squeaks. Considering how fierce and aggressive Nyssa once was that's pretty sad to see. My new place has carpeted floors and that's allowed Nyssa to really run again, something she couldn't manage on hardwoods lately. She still stumbles and gets wobbly at times but at least she has better mobility.

Now that Nyssa defers to Zephyr and that Zephyr is firmly established as alpha things are definitely better between them. It's getting more and more common to see all four running together. There is also a new universal favorite treat: Marshall Raisin Flavor Bandits. Both Nyssa and Zephyr have decided they are most wanted treat, and Chin Soon and Ella always liked them.
Raisin Bandits

Nyssa also stood up and made clear she wanted out this morning. I did giver her an extra treat. She's sleeping comfortably in one of her favorite sleep sacks now.

Long holiday weekend should mean lots more out of cage time and hopefully happy, bouncy ferrets.