Recently, I had to rescue a ferret. Although all my ferrets are currently recues, I never really put much emphasis on what “Rescue” really meant until I was introduced to Bean.
Bean is a long Black-eyed White with a black spot between his shoulders and black tail that was malnourished and dehydrated and very close to death. He couldn’t stand, so, when he could, he urinated on himself and then slowly dragged himself until he reached a drier spot. Bean could barely open his eyes, you could see every bone in his body and his nails looked like something out of a horror story. You could literally see and smell the death consuming him. But he still had that little gleam in his eyes that told me he was a fighter.
When I first saw him I was devastated, to say the least. I was also a little scared since I was in my truck (I drive a truck throughout the lower 48 states) and, due to some very expensive repairs done on my truck, I also had very little money to spend on care for Bean. But, I wanted to give this little fella a good life and I’m rather stubborn, so we did what we could, so I called Susie and we discussed what needed to be done asap.
Well, as I said, all this got me to thinking about what RESCUE really meant (at least in ferret terms) and I thought I’d share it with you.
I’m a lover of words and, as you’ll soon see, enjoy having fun with acronyms.
React to an Emergency to Save a life and Create a new life while not
Underestimating that to succeed you will need the right Equipment.
React: You see a situation and “React” immediately to do something about it
Emergency: You have to react quickly because there’s a life in danger
Save: You’re attempting to save a life
Create: You’re creating a new life once the emergency subsides
Underestimate: Never underestimate what you can do.
Equipment: You’re obviously going to need a few things to save the ferrets life and give the critter a new one
For Bean, reacting to the situation was a simple one. The first thing I did was grab some baby wipes and wiped him down real good to get rid of the feces and urine that was on his body. I then dried him with paper towels. This seemed to get a response from him since he went from shivering to curling up in my arms.
Next was getting him some fluids. As with humans, ALL animals need water to survive. But Bean wasn’t about to grab a glass of water and down it. And, of course, I didn’t have a syringe on the truck. So I simply put my finger in the water and began rubbing it on his lips and inside his mouth. After some time, I got him to drink from the bowl. It was slowwwwwwwww going. He’d drink for a few seconds then stop. I just held the bowl until he finally laid back and closed his eyes.
I wrapped Bean in a blanket, set him gently on the floor and headed out to get a few things I thought I’d need at Walmart.
Here’s the list:
Syringe – for feeding and watering
Baby food – Gerbers chicken and broth
Pedialite – Used for hydration in infants
IAMS Kitten food – Used until I could get to a pet store for ferret food (I don’t recommend feeding a ferret the food from walmart since it contains corn)
Small Blankets – for comfort and warmth
Immediately, I began pumping water from the syringe into Beans mouth. I was actually wearing more then he drank, but in no time at all he was able to drink normally from the bowl.
Next came the baby food. I mixed the food with water and filled the syringe. “Open up Bean,” and I began pumping the food into him. I think he was getting a little pissed at this syringe thing and me because he eventually sighed and began eating the baby food/water mix directly from the bowl.
This went on for a couple of days. It turns out, Bean is just as stubborn as me and he began eating and drinking on his own.
I still hadn’t gotten to a pet store (finding one is hard enough but try parking a 70 foot long vehicle in one of those little parking lots) so I tried the IAMS kitten food next.
I crushed it up into smaller pieces, added some water and Bean took right to it.
On the third day, I found a PETCO with truck parking and got Bean his ferret food, ferretone and some treats. Bean was going to be one happy fella.
Once I got the ferret food and water set up I created “Bean Dip” a mixture or Gerbers Chicken and Broth, Ferretone and water.
Not only did Bean eat this, he actually smiled!!!!!
After about a week of stress and worry Bean began walking on his own and his coat began to glow. During the second week he began to play. Today, Bean resides at WeezleWings Ferret Sanctuary with his new brothers and sisters and enjoys a good life.