The Ferret Owners Manual
Duck Soup

1/2 cup of high quality, dry ferret food

1/8 cup (approximately – about equal to the volume of one regular ice cube) of Sustical or  Ensure Plus (or equivalent liquid, nondairy food supplement, found in most grocery and drug stores in 8 oz cans. Don’t use the high fiber variety. Ferrets seem to like strawberry the best but any flavor except chocolate is fine.

Pour the remaining supplement into an ice I cube tray and freeze. After it’s frozen, the supplement “cubes” will keep for several weeks in a plastic bag in your freezer.) 1/2 inch ribbon of Ferretvite/Nutristat. (Ferretvite is available at many pet shops.

Ferretone/Linatone • 1/2 tsp. if desired.

Place the food in a blender. Add sufficient cold water to soften. Blend thoroughly. Add more

water as necessary to make a stiff paste. Stir in the Ferretvite, and Ensure. Add

Ferretone/Linatone if desired. The mixture should be the consistency of a thin paste or thick soup. (You can add more water if necessary to make a very thin mixture if you have to force-feed the ferret with an eyedropper or syringe.) You must be careful that the ferret does not inhale the food. Use the same technique described for “dehydration”, to feed him the Duck Soup.

Microwave for about 15 – 20 seconds, until warm.

Check the temperature before you begin feeding. It should be warm, not hot. Be sure to stir it well and make sure that there are no HOT spots. (I use my finger to stir it. That way I can be sure

that there are no hot spots.                                                 ‘

If your ferret is suffering from insulinoma, leave out the Ensure/Sustical and the Ferretvite/Nutristat.

Feed the ferret all he will eat or that you can make him eat comfortably. (This should be about

5 – 15 ml, depending on the size of the ferret, at each feeding. Initially you may want to limit the “soup” to 2 – 3 ml at each feeding and feed more often. You may gradually increase the amount and cut down on the frequency. A typical adult ferret will require 100 – 110 ml of food a day and 90 – 100 ml of fluids. Your vet can tell you how much to feed at any one sitting and how much total he will need each day. Feed about every 2 – 4 hours depending on the amount you are feeding, and give ample water or Pedialyte along with the Duck Soup. Cover and refrigerate any left over mixture. It will keep approximately one day. Microwave to rewarm. Remember to check the temperature of any microwaved portion carefully. Parts of the mixture may feel only warm but other parts may be HOT.

Most ferrets will eat Duck Soup eagerly. It’s high in fat; has protein from the ferret chow; and vitamins and minerals from the Ensure and Ferretvite (or Nutristat), plus water. Don’t make a steady diet of this after your ferret recovers. His regular food is best for long term nourishment.

With severe diarrhea lasting more than several bowel movements, aggressive treatment is critical. A common bacteria, Helicobacter mustelae, is often the cause. This bacteria may cause ulcers in addition to the diarrhea. Most ferrets carry this bacteria in their systems with no outward signs. A stressful situation, such as a new ferret or other pet, new home, change in food or water, even a new human baby in the family may cause the bacteria to begin growing out of control resulting in the diarrhea and ulcers. Typical treatment for this diarrhea is with Amoxicillin, Flagyl and sulcrafate for the potential ulcers. Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate will control the diarrhea to some extent while the antibiotics do their thing. Try to give the sulcrafate at least 20 – 30 minutes prior to feeding and at least 20 – 30 minutes prior to or after any antiacid. The duration of the disease may be from a couple of days to over a month. Usually, the sooner the treatment is started, the faster it will be cured.


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