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mary99

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Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 3:34 PM
Hi all-  Long time, no talk to.  We lost two of our three ferrets in Nov/Dec and I haven't been here.  Since then, the third sometimes shakes when I pick him up.  I understand if he fears predators or danger, given the situation he's in.  But is shaking even a sign of fear?  I had read here sometimes they shake when you wake them up, as a warming thing, but this doesn't seem like that.  He's never been a shaker before.  I just want to make sure I'm treating any symptoms or conditions he's experiencing appropriately.  I do feel sorry for him but I can't get any more ferrets.  He gets lots of extra love and treats (e.g., playtime in the normally closed off parts of the house) and has dogs and kids and toys and me to play with.  Thanks for your thoughts!  Other than the shaking, he seems ok.  
wenmister

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 4:15 PM
How old is  your ferret?

When do you noticed him shaking?
joclyn

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:03 PM
the shaking could be the initial signs of insulinoma starting.  or can just be the 'normal' waking up and getting the blood flowing/getting the temp up thing.
 
is he doing any of the following:
 
- staring off into space
- walking funny: stumbling, walking to the side, back legs sometimes slip out from under
- drooling
- sleeping for longer periods of time
- taking more frequent naps during playtime and generally not playing as much or as long as previously
- losing weight although still eating
 
if he's doing any of the above, i'd get him in for a bg check.  insulinoma is very easy to treat - especially if caught really early - and they can live 3-4 years with it once it's diagnosed and being treated.
mary99

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:08 PM
wenmister


How old is  your ferret?

When do you noticed him shaking?



He is under two years old.  Unlike my others, he's been very healthy.  I never noticed him shaking until after I had Bandit put down, then it seemed to start immediately.  I don't know if he shakes when I'm not holding him.  If he does, I've never noticed it.  Usually when he hears me come downstairs he runs out from his hidey hole and I pick him up and he often shakes.  And of course usually he has just woken up, which might be relevant.  But it seems like sometimes I'm holding him downstairs and he's fine until I start to walk upstairs with him and then he shakes.  Upstairs is usually off limits.  So it's like he is scared.  Or if I walk outdoors with him I think he often shakes, too.  



mary99

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:09 PM
wenmister


How old is  your ferret?

When do you noticed him shaking?



He is under two years old.  Unlike my others, he's been very healthy.  I never noticed him shaking until after I had Bandit put down, then it seemed to start immediately.  I don't know if he shakes when I'm not holding him.  If he does, I've never noticed it.  Usually when he hears me come downstairs he runs out from his hidey hole and I pick him up and he often shakes.  And of course usually he has just woken up, which might be relevant.  But it seems like sometimes I'm holding him downstairs and he's fine until I start to walk upstairs with him and then he shakes.  Upstairs is usually off limits.  So it's like he is scared.  Or if I walk outdoors with him I think he often shakes, too.  



mary99

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:22 PM
joclyn


the shaking could be the initial signs of insulinoma starting.  or can just be the 'normal' waking up and getting the blood flowing/getting the temp up thing.

is he doing any of the following:

- staring off into space
- walking funny: stumbling, walking to the side, back legs sometimes slip out from under
- drooling
- sleeping for longer periods of time
- taking more frequent naps during playtime and generally not playing as much or as long as previously
- losing weight although still eating

if he's doing any of the above, i'd get him in for a bg check.  insulinoma is very easy to treat - especially if caught really early - and they can live 3-4 years with it once it's diagnosed and being treated.


I don't notice any of the above behaviors.  His weight seems steady and he's eating.  It's hard for me to really accurately gauge changes because the shaking started right after losing the other two.  My ferret vet is sure what Bandit had wasn't catchy.  He never did really know what Bandit had but it seemed like maybe helicobacter and/or ulcers, at the very least.  I posted a lot about it.  Losing him still makes me cry and I will never have another Marshall's ferret, or even get another ferret.  A few weeks before having to put Bandit down, I had rolled the couch forward to pull him out for his meds and I left deaf, sleeping Missy under there.  Only she woke up and somehow got her neck under the wrong spot in the one second I put the couch back down.  So her death was an accident I could've prevented and I feel terrible about it.  I live in fear of hurting Romy now.  I was always very careful but not careful enough.  I could never use squeakers to get the ferrets out because of Missy's deafness.  Now the furniture never leaves the ground and we only get Romy out with a squeaker.  Which is all TMI but there it is, in case it helps rule anything in or out.  






joclyn

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 7:17 PM
{{{mary}}}
 
glad you're not seeing other signs of insu!!
 
going to an area of the house that they're not usually in can cause a bit of fear reaction - the shaking. 
 
some of mine do it when i take them upstairs - not their usual place to go and upstairs is where the bathtub is (most of 'em don't like getting a bath)  and they'll do the shaking until they realize they either aren't going to the bathroom or that if they are in the bathroom, they're not getting a bath.  so, i understand that they're frightened even though they know where they are and i'm holding them and giving verbal comfort to them. 
 
the fact that you are still upset over the losses you've had - so close together and both so tragic - and that you're afraid of causing harm to this little one may be the root of the issue for him.
 
he's picking up on your feelings and may be reacting to them.  he's also still doing his own grieving over these losses, so, that's probably a factor as well.
 
you did all you could for bandit - please stop holding yourself responsible for his being gone.  if all the treatments weren't helping, and they weren't, you acted selflessly by letting him go - you did for him what was best.  that's something to commend yourself for (being kind and caring and putting his needs before your own); not something to hold against yourself.
 
with missy, you most definitely had no intention of harming her!  accidents happen - they suck, yes.  nothing we can do about them because they are such a random thing.
 
i know you're hurting - and that hurt will always be there to some degree.  holding on to it isn't a good thing to do - for yourself or anyone else in your life now or those that will come into your life at some point in the future.
 
please!!  forgive yourself for whatever you are blaming/holding yourself as accountable for!!!
 
then, love this little one and help him to heal from the loss of his buddies - in the process, he'll help you to heal.
mary99

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:11 PM
Thanks so much, Joclyn.  I cry more every time I talk, write or think about it.  I'll get over it.  It was a tough few months.  Jeez, you'd think I lost a person or something.  
Lullaby

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:32 PM
Sometimes they can mean more to us than you think. With all the time you would have spent together, all of the things you guys went through, and with all the quiet talks you'd have together. It's something you can't always experience with another person. 

I'm so sorry for your loss, you did the best your could in the end for Bandit and Missy was just a sad accident you had no control over. Just remember you and Romy have one another and still are sharing that little something that can keep you tied forever with Bandit and Missy.

That was off topic of your thread, but I think it needed to be said again. So back to the thread, he probably just shakes because he had just woken up or that he's uneasy about the area around him. I know my little boy will shake after he wakes up, is cold, or is starting to get nervous and everything after I hold him a little while in a new place (or area, for longer then I usually would). So I don't think it's anything to worry about, especially since, like Joclyn said, that you're not seeing any signs of insulinoma :]
 
joclyn

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 8:44 PM
mary99

 Jeez, you'd think I lost a person or something.  

they ARE people!!  four-footed furry people :)
wenmister

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Thursday, January 13, 2011 9:38 PM
jocyln, that was so sweet of you to say that.  Now, stop making me cry.  :-)
Rachel_Morgan

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Friday, January 14, 2011 2:57 AM
It depends on the ferret, I find. A couple of mine shake in new surroundings due to fear, but a good many of mine shake because they are just so excited, I-can't-keep-it-to-myself-any-longer sort of thing. I've got a lot who love exploring new surroundings and feel comfortable doing so (these ones came on walks with me and the old dog - sadly can't do this with the new dog)  and so often come with me to ferret info days, and are in heaven. But others get freaked and prefer staying indoors, or in specific areas.

So it depends on the ferret, I would think. =)

And condolences on your loses. I recently lost a fuzzy, and it was very, very hard. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it didn't make it any easier. I couldn't imagine losing one to an accident - it would be even worse. But try to realize that it was an accident, and strive towards preventing it from ever happening again. That way, at least you know it didn't occur in vain, and it taught you a valuable lesson - even if the price was much too high.


-Rachel.
mary99

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Friday, January 14, 2011 12:12 PM
Thanks.  I'm sorry you too lost one recently.  

I think his shaking is probably partly due to excitement, which may also be part fear.  He probably gets more excited for the little adventures now that he doesn't have the daily play time with the other ferrets to release that energy.  
I have a large cage outside thinking some outdoor time would be good for him, but he seems scared out there so I don't really use it.  Maybe he's just excited and does enjoy it and I should use it more, before it gets hot out again.  

Rachel_Morgan

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Re:Ferret suddenly sometimes shaking... is it fear or what? - Friday, January 14, 2011 12:25 PM
Thanks.

As to the outdoor cage - still would be best to supervise him outside. Plus, he'll feel safer for it. I usually just clip a harness on them and walk a ferret one at a time through our backyard. Its great because they can really interact with everything, but if they get tired or too scared, can run back to you or to the door to say as much. Rascal is terrified of being in the front yard, due to hearing the cars, for example, so he'll start dragging me to the front door and will sit pointedly in front of it, waiting anxiously to be let back inside. I've made a big deal about showing them where the house entrances are - its what saved one of my girls' lives in the first few months.

But yes, definitely recommend a manual walk over an outdoor cage. Especially now he's alone, it would be a good bonding experience for both of you, and be very stimulating for him. Might be a bit overwhelming to begin with though, so just watch for hints he wants inside and listen to them. It took a while for Rascal to realize the backyard was "safe", and same for the others. But now they know - oh boy, best place EVER. At least, in the summer!

Best of luck, and have fun with your little tyke! =)

-Rachel.

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