or later you WILL need this information on feeding
a sick ferret, so please bookmark this page for future
reference! E.C.E, diarrhea, low blood sugar, post
surgery care and tooth removal are some of the times
when your ferret will need additional help from you
with a soft food diet.
normal circumstances we know our ferrets need a good
high meat protein diet, in the form of dry kibble,
but there will be times when we must supplement with
a soft food diet. It could even be the only diet
for a period of time, until the ferret is able to
eat its dry kibble once again.
are many varieties of 'soft food diets' recommended,
however, if you should need to feed your ferret soft
food in an emergency, this is my recommendation for
food easily accessible at any time, when perhaps
you are not able to get to your veterinarian. (NOTE:
please read my article on the protocol for E.C.E
that I have used extensively since 1995 with 100's
FOOD - 1st or 2nd stage Heinz, Gerber, Beechnut
- all meat with broth or gravy
4 teaspoons of babyfood plus 1 tsp. of water.
This is enough food for a single feeding
(1 tsp = 5cc).
first try a little of the food on your finger
for the ferret to lick (always give food warm)
if the ferret eats readily then coax it to
eat the rest from a bowl.
your ferret is too sick ,or refuses to eat
by this method, then you will need to use an
eye dropper or a 20cc syringe.
carefully feed a drop at a time, between the
front teeth or sideways, behind the canine
tooth, making sure that the ferret is swallowing
on its own.
Do not shoot the food down its throat as
this could cause the ferret to aspirate (get
food into its lungs)
Windows Media Player
click on feeding ferret
to see the video >>
When at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again
and again, if need be!
I have fed 1,000's of ferrets
this way for many years and I can assure you, they
will enjoy the food and look forward to it each day!
If you find the ferret struggles or shakes the food
all over the place, including you, then wrap your ferret
in a towel and firmly tuck under your arm, holding
the head with your other hand. It sounds difficult,
but please persevere and remember, feeding your ferret
this way could mean SAVING IT'S LIFE!!
Over the years,
I have had ferrets brought to me that have been so
dehydrated and starving to death, that I have literally
worked around the clock to bring them back to life!
Many times the reason for this dilemma is that the
owner gave up feeding the ferret because it refused
the food, instead of diligently trying to coax the
ferret to eat!
With chronic diarrhea, the loss of fluids
as well as not eating, could jeopardize a ferret's
life within a day or two. For this problem, we need
to feed the soft food every 3-4hrs as it contains plenty
of both food and fluid. You may need to supplement
with additional Pedialyte or water, and you could add
0.5cc of Pepto Bismol to the food twice a day. Of course
you should consult with your veterinarian first. Remember
this info is only for emergency situations.
people do quite well giving medications to their ferrets,
without mixing it with anything. However there are
times when your vet may prescribe medicines that your
ferret can only take WITH FOOD, such as PREDNISONE
(pediapred) so feeding the soft food twice a day along
with the medicine, will be a necessity.
In our educational
classes in Miami, we encouraged the importance of giving
the ferret babyfood as a treat, then when the ferret
does need soft food, no problem arises as it is now
used to the food!
We feed all our sick ferrets the
Soft Food Diet For Sick Ferrets
can A/D (Science Diet)
1 jar BABYFOOD -chicken w/broth or gravy
1/2 babyfood jar of WATER
1/4 teaspoon FERRETZYME
mix this well and store in the refrigerator.
each feeding we give 20-25ccs ALWAYS WARM,
NEVER COLD! I stand mine in a mug of very hot
water, if you choose a microwave, make sure
it is only for a few seconds and test on your
wrist, to make sure you do not scald the ferret
with the food!
ferrets with INSULINOMA have lived for 3-5yrs on
this diet, along with medication and dry kibble,
without seizures, and only an occasional adjustment
in medication. I have had on average 40 ferrets with
this disease, over the last few years and have been
very successful keeping them actively alive!
surgery your veterinarian will instruct you as to
after care. If it is a simple tooth extraction, your
ferret may welcome a soft food diet for a few days,
always make sure you follow food with a little water
to wash the mouth and keep the extraction site clean.
the other hand, major surgery may require the ferret
be given medication for some time, plus a soft
food diet, so it is important that your ferret
be used to the diet before surgery. I have found
that some ferrets accept the soft food mixture
a little more readily with ENSURE (vanilla) or
Pediasure (vanilla) added. After surgery I usually
After Surgery Diet
5cc Pedialyte or water
10cc soft food mixture
together in a syringe and give in small increments
as per the doctor's orders.
I decrease the amount of Pediasure and water until
I am back to the 'soft food mixture' only and continue
with this until the ferret is readily eating dry
the case of a ferret with insulinoma, I continue
the feedings twice a day, with the medication. For
all my years as a shelter operator, I found that
feeding a ferret this soft food diet, could be the
difference between life or death. In many cases ferrets
were given all sorts of medications to make them
well, however if the ferret refused to eat, then
no medicine could keep it alive!
keep this information handy and do not hesitate to
contact us, if you have questions concerning this