Use Of Supplements With Ferrets
Author: Jennifer Robertson (Mustelidmusk)
Just a quick note regarding the use of supplements to treat various conditions.
“Herbal treatments”, immune modulators, etc. are ALL MEDICINES. ALL medicines come with some degree of RISK. This is why it’s best to give medicines under the advice of a doctor or vet. It’s VERY important to understand your ferrets’ health status (including CBC and chem. panel as well as a physical exam and ideally x-ray/ultrasound as well) before giving medicine.
Before you begin any medicine, you need to consider the following:
* What is the current age and health status of my ferret? Do I even KNOW if my ferret may have a problem? Early disease may be present without symptoms.
* Does my ferret have multiple conditions?
* Is my ferret going through any other treatments? Will the supplement counteract the other treatments? amplify the effect and possibly kill my ferret?
* What are the risks that come with each of the medicines I’m giving? Are the risks really KNOWN?
* Will my ferret have a reaction to this supplement?
* What is the ramification of long-term use?
In short, you need to do your homework before assuming something will be safe. I strongly recommend using any treatments under the guidance of a veterinarian, especially if your ferret:
- is older
- has one or more ailments
- is receiving any other medical care —including other non-traditional treatments
A word about nutritional supplements:
Like medicine, many foods do have certain biological effects on the body. Some food my raise blood pressure or reduce clotting, some may cause glucose spike, etc. Even food can cause problems in small animals such as ferrets when given continuously over a period of time.
We need to keep in mind that what may be fine for one ferret may not be appropriate for all. We need to stay on top of our ferrets’ health and bring information (including risks and what effect a supplement may have) to our vets. This especially true when a ferret may be older and/or may have some other issues going on.