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Ferret FAQ [4/5] - Health Care
Section - (9.10) What special needs do older ferrets have?

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[This information was provided by Sukie Crandall.]

The age at which a ferret should be considered "senior" varies from
one ferret to the next.  Some 5-year-olds are as active as they were
at three, while others are settling into ferret retirement.  Pretty
much every ferret is an oldster by 7, though many do very well for
several more years.

There are three big things you need to take into consideration for
older ferrets: physical health, diet, and mental health.  First, get a
full medical checkup for your ferret, including full blood work.
Depending on the results, you might want to start getting checkups
every six months.

Although older ferrets sometimes have trouble eating dry food, you
might not want to eliminate crunchy food, since that will keep your
ferret's gums and teeth healthy.  Some people swear by Totally Ferret
for Older Ferrets.  There's no reason you can't supplement the dry
food with something like one of the "Duck
Soups" [12.8].

Be sure that your ferret has a lot to do, plenty of of old knotted-up
socks to stash (at which point you must, of course, move them to
continue the game), tubes and so on.  Play with him as much as you can
each day, and provide him with things to keep him interested and
alert.  These can be anything from culinary herbs in a box to dig up
and roll in, to tricks, to some easy barriers to defeat. Exercise is
good! Mental exercise is, too.  Older ferrets often seem to need a bit
more direct attention than young ones so try to set aside some time
just for your ferret every day.

Even if your ferret is ill, give him a bit of self-sovereignty, too.
Having someone else control all your choices makes life a drag for
anyone.

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10. *** Problems to watch for and related information ***

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Top Document: Ferret FAQ [4/5] - Health Care
Previous Document: (9.9) How do I contact Dr. Williams? I hear he'll help with diagnoses.
Next Document: (10.1) What warning signs of disease should I look for?

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