Considering I do not want any more ferrets, I'm not doing very well. Second addition this year, sigh. Around the 11th/ 12th of May (2012) my friend Cris phoned me. He'd had a call from his vets, they had a stray ferret in and were asking Cris if he could take it or knew anybody who could. So he phoned me to ask if I could take him or knew anybody who could. I really did not want to add more ferrets but when I heard that the ferret was a biter, I thought he's not going to have a good home anywhere, who wants a biter, and if he went to a working home he'd probably be locked up in a 2 ft cage for the rest of his life... So I phoned Cris back and said I would take him, I asked him to keep Tigger for a bit because my life at the moment is a bit unpredictable. I phoned the vets who had the ferret and asked them to castrate him, I paid over the phone, and then Cris fetched him.
The weeks went by and I eventually told Cris that I could take the ferret now but then it was arranging a time and place to meet up. I didn't hear from Cris for quite a few weeks but at last we met on Saturday 21.07.12. We'd been phoning a few times and joking that we were planning to exchange a ferret like spies were exchanged during the cold war, Cris said we'd have to find a brige and then I told him that a few years ago I actually visited the Glienicke Bridge (Glienicker Brücke). Cris' partner Lee's father was in the army and I am German so a lot of playing with words went on, quite funny.
I was hoping Tigger (Lee gave him that name) would get on with Squirt and Skippy and so I let them all out together Saturday when Pete and I got back and they got on brilliantly so I'm happy. At night, Squirt and Skippy are let out with Charlie's group (minus Charlie because he's a bully plus Charlie prefers to come out later at night on his own since he's been ill with lymphoma) and Tigger gets on with Honey, Snoopy, Peanut and Franklin, too, so this is brilliant. If or when Charlie dies, his group and Squirt, Skippy and Tigger will be put together. Franklin actually *loves* Tigger and is always looking forward to seeing him. :-)
Tigger and Franklin
Update June 2013
Our neighbours have a new dog, well, new(ish), a French Mastiff called Alice. Alice is very interested in the ferrets and will try and "play" with them, mainly Tigger, through the fence. :)
Tigger and Alice
I noticed Tigger has a chordoma at the end of his tail. I vaguely remember noticing it ages ago and it was small and I thought I need to keep an eye on it- and then forgot. Now it has grown quite a bit and so I thought book him in with Poley when Poley is going in for his castration, at least they have each other for company.
On the 29th of January Tigger had a chordoma removed from his tail on the same day that Poley was castrated. My vet took a lot of the tail off, the chordoma had started to spread so my vet took an inch off from where the spread stopped. Tigger only has a stump left. :( He had to go back to the vets for a bandage change on 1st and 3rd February.
On the 6th of February, Tigger had his stitches out and one last bandage change, today I had to take the bandage off for good. Poor Tigger, the vets have some liquid that dissolves the sticky stuff of the plaster bandage so you can just unwrap it. Of course I don't have that so I had to pull on the plaster thing that was tightly stuck to his tail. He was a good boy though and got some sweet paste as a treat. :)
Over the last year or so, some of my ferrets (the ones that eat mice that the cats leave lying around) have passed tapeworm segments. I wormed them with Panacur paste (fenbendazole) which I am sure kills the taenia (mouse) tapeworm. The ferrets are usually treated with Stronghold/ Revolution so I thought it was unlikely that they were infected with the common flea tapeworm (Dipylidium). So in October '15 the ferrets were treated with Advocate for a change because I was also worried about lungworm which the ferrets can get here in the UK from eating slugs (they can go out and play in the garden/ yard) and in November everybody had about 8 days worth of Panacur paste. I did not see any worms so I thought they were worm free. Until Tigger passed a whole tapeworm. It measured about 1 meter. The worming was done some time ago and I just read that when tapeworms are killed, you won't see them in the stools because the animal will digest them. Or is that only applicable to dogs and cats? The worm was wriggling so it was alive and yet was still passed out. So I wormed the ferrets again, I read that praziquantel will kill all tapeworms. I couldn't find out if the worming tablets (generic cat Drontal- Praziquantel 20 mg and pyrantel 230 mg (for cats of up to 4 kg)) were safe to use, all I found was some people on forums saying they'd used them. So I did, too. The girls (all under 1 kg) got 1/4 tablet, the boys (all over 1 kg) 1/2 tablet. No side effects. But I did see worms being passed afterwards.
Incidentally Tigger has also had mucusy stools on and off and for the last weeks or month or so he has been passing mucusy stools every afternoon/ early evening- even after the worm passed. Then over night only normal stools. The worm came out in one of the mucusy stools which makes me think he has more worms. Tigger is also quite fat so not thin like some animals with worms.
Tigger has had chronic diarrhoea and passed blood in his stools occasionally, I'm sure triggered by worms. He would have good and bad stools and then at some point this year it got really bad. My vet luckily doesn't insist on doing (invasive) tests, she didn't do any tests for Tigger but said we'll try steroids and digestive enzymes. I gave prednisolone first and the stools became normal within a day. Then I gave enzymes and the stools got worse again! So after 1 day of enzymes I stopped and have only been giving pred and he's almost completely fine. Of course I am now seeing the side effects of the pred, muscle wasting, even though he gets only 0.5 mg twice a day. I may ask my vet if we could try him on a lower dose...