Vet Update

This is just a quick update to provide the answers to the questions from my previous post, according to the vet.

Vet Location: All Pets Hospital, New Port Richey
Vet Doctor: Dr. Powell

1. WHAT IS THE BARE PATCH ON ONYX’S BACK?

The vet agrees that it looks like the hair was pulled out (i.e., it didn’t fall out). He said it could indeed have been from rough play, or perhaps even Onyx herself pulled it out. Given that we’ve only had the girls a little over a week, I can’t tell if the hair is growing back, but it probably is. He said to just keep an eye on it.

2. WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF THE NOW-GONE LUMP?

This was probably left over from when Onyx was fixed, perhaps a suture that hadn’t quite been absorbed all the way. Dr. Powell thinks this is no big deal.

3. WHY ARE ONYX & OPAL’S POOP TOTALLY DIFFERENT COLORS?

Turns out, Onyx has a Coccidia infection, which is a single-celled parasite in the intestines. Rather than just treat Onyx, and have Opal possibly pick up the infection, and have them pass it back and forth to each other, we are treating both of them with an oral medication twice a day for two weeks. Luckily the girls find the medication tasty, so administering it hasn’t been a problem.

4. HOW CAN I PROPERLY TRIM THEIR NAILS WITHOUT HURTING THEM?

Both girls actually have lightly/clear colored claws, so I can see the blood vessel (the quick) if I look carefully. So it’s pretty easy to trim their claws. Unfortunately their claws are just as sharp after being trimmed as before, so maybe I need to go after them with a nail file.

5. DO WE NEED TO USE THE BATH SPRAY?

Nope! He said some ferrets are just really stinky, and need some kind of bath spray. But as long we don’t find their smell offensive, we don’t need any kind of special products to clean them.

6. WHY DO THE GIRLS SOMETIMES GET INTO SNEEZING FITS OR START SCRATCHING LIKE MAD?

They both have ear mites. Apparently most ferrets that come from Marshall’s have ear mites (and almost all ferrets in the US come from Marshall’s). There’s a law in Florida that all dogs and cats sold must have a certificate from a vet that they’re free of internal and external parasites, but this law doesn’t extend to any other animal. So Marshall’s probably knows about the ear mite problem, but it doesn’t make financial sense to remedy it. So the girls are now being given half of a small-puppy-dose of Revolution, once every two weeks, total of three doses. There was no evidence of fleas, but the Revolution should take care of the mites.

OTHER NOTES

They got their rabies shots. Onyx was so good, she didn’t even flinch. Opal squirmed before she could get the whole shot, so she had to get stuck twice. The distemper vaccine won’t come in until early this week, so we’ll take the girls back for that.

They got their first Distemper shot at 8 weeks of age from Marshall’s. They were supposed to get booster shots at 11 and 14 weeks, but Pet Supermarket didn’t indicate at all that they’d done so. Dr. Powell suggested that we start the vaccine process over, giving them a total of three shots (not just the two boosters). Distemper is 100% fatal in ferrets, so we don’t want to mess around.

We also need to stay at the vet for 20-30 minutes after the distemper shot, as we’ve heard that ferrets can sometimes have a bad reaction to the vaccine. They may start shaking, vomiting, or have diarrhea. This can quickly kill a ferret, so we want to be there in case there are any reactions.

It’s all a little scary to be honest. We want our girls to be happy and healthy, and I already can’t bear the though of something happening to either of them. We’ll do everything we can to address these issues and bring our goo-slinkies back to full health.