SHELTER FERRET CARE RESPONSIBILITIES
By no means all inclusive Ė there is always more
Main ferret room daily:
∑ Paper towels are changed about 4 times a day depending on poop consistency and illness.
∑ Rims of all the litter boxes are wiped clean.
∑ Blankets under cage, "hidden" areas and pretty much the entire room gets checked for sneaker poopers. Basically, that will happen if I'm gone for long periods of time and don't keep the boxes clean enough to suit them.
∑ ANY bedding that has a drop of poop on it gets pulled and washed to keep others from pooping there.
∑ Water and food in all cages and on the floor is checked daily and crocks given fresh water (if possible) As long as there is water in the bottles I don't consider it critical that the crock bowls get changed.
∑ Water bowl on the floor always gets fresh water daily.
∑ Roll call/health checks minimum twice daily usually during gravy meals to be sure someone isn't sick and needing attention or worse....
∑ Med/gravy dishes washed twice a day
∑ Monster boys let out to play twice a day
∑ Litterboxes in other rooms of the house set up for free roamers (Houdini, Nicky and certain terminals) changed twice a day
Observe, assess, monitor, treat and/or otherwise take action for ferrets who may need special care or are showing vague symptoms separate from the normal ferrets who are already diagnosed and currently being treated.
∑ For example, Bernard already had a dental but he still shows signs of nausea by chewing on bedding and pawing at his mouth.
∑ Princess had several teeth removed and it's important to be aware that she might not be able to chew for awhile, if at all so she must get enough gravy to keep her tummy full.
∑ Scooter seems to be sleeping more so bg is being watched.
Aside from having to watch these and sometimes more ferrets for signs of problems, right now as of 9/19/2007, there are in excess of 24 doses of medications given to multiple ferrets daily, i.e., Carafate, Pepcid, Pred, Amoxi, Clavamox.
∑ Find ferrets to premedicate with Carafate. Should be at least 20 minutes before they eat. Must wait 2 hours before giving antibiotic.†
∑ Get gravy from frig and scoop into pitcher.
∑ Fill with water and put in microwave for 45 seconds.
∑ Put in blender for smoother consistency.
∑ When blended, add enough water to make their favorite consistency, pour through strainer back into pitcher.†
∑ Poor into individual cups for only the ferrets needing medication.
∑ When ferrets are awake and waiting at the gate, add pepcid and pred to gravy and give to each ferret. Itís important to know how much each ferret will eat as they MUST get all of their medication.†
∑ Watch that nobody eats the others gravy.
∑ When all done, make gravy left in pitcher very soupy and pour into big bowl for shelter ferrets.
∑ Go through shelter to be sure everybody gets gravy.
∑ If not feeling well, stand with ferret to be sure they get enough to eat.
∑ Gather up all cups and bowls for washing.
∑ Go back later to find all ferrets needing additional medication such as antibiotics.
Repeat morning routine
∑ Paper towels changed 4-6 times a day.† This is a must because older ferrets have gastric issues and incontinence and do not like pooping in a dirty box.
∑ Rims of litter box wiped several times a day
∑ Soiled bedding removed and washed - no time schedule, just when dirty which is often.
∑ Pishpads changed often enough to stay dry or ferrets won't use them.† The geriatrics do not like standing on anything wet.
∑ Monitor them several times a day to be sure there is no distress.
∑ Bedding checked for any soiled areas and bedding changed immediately.
∑ Water and food in cage and on the floor is checked daily and given fresh water.
∑ Find ferrets to premedicate with Carafate. Should be at least 20 minutes before they eat. Must wait 2 hours before giving antibiotic.
∑ From shelter gravy batch, pour into separate bowl.
∑ Pour again through a sieve for ferrets who can't/wonít eat chunks.
∑ Gather enough cups and put in tray along with Pepcid and Pred and take to their room.
∑ Wake up terminals and add meds to gravy. Again, itís critical that each serving fits each individual ferrets appetite to insure they get all their medication.
∑ Give to each ferret and hold anyone who won't eat it on their own.
∑ Make sure they all have full bellies.
∑ Gather up all dishes and take to kitchen for washing.
∑ At appropriate time, go back to get ferrets who need additional medication.
Repeat morning routine
About twice a week:
Pish pads get changed
Toys and tubes inspected and taken out to get washed as needed.
About once a week:
Floor and cage bedding get pulled and washed - floor is swept and cleaned
Water/food area swept/cleaned and mat changed
Sleeping bins get wiped and changed with new bedding
Puzzle box inspected
Walls wiped for poop/medicine/other splatters
Barrels and round beds get washed
Nails trimmed every other week
Make new batches of gravy
Bodies inspected for mast cell tumors or other obvious growths, etc.
Then of course, there is housework, appointments, emails, phone callsÖ..life.† If you donít understand why I do this, then you didnít read, ďA DAY IN THE DEATH.Ē