We got her off a craigslist ad just a year and a half ago, and she was skinny but seemed okay. The ad said she was about two years old. Ferrets are supposed to live 8-10 years. Our veterinarian said it's hard to tell age, but frankie seemed much older than two years. would craigslist lie, I asked?
Skinny ferrets are common, in ferret communities people are always trading tips of help them gain weight, but frankie was never all that interested in eating. she did not like treats like meat fat or egg yolks that our other ferret, watson, just gobbled up.
then she started losing hair and the vet said she had an adrenal disease, so we got her a hormone implant and that helped for about a year. then the year was up and she needed a new one, but this one didn't take... she was still losing weight and hair, so we tried another implant which the vet said was really rare, usually they just start working. and each time they have to basically cut her neck open for this thing and we'd have to monitor the healing, it was expensive. and poor frankie, right?
Marc had called the vet about her continued decline but was told there might not be much more we can do. Then on Friday he found her in worse shape, barely moving, wouldn't eat our drink or use her litter box (not that she's ever been great at it), yellowing spotted skin and she seemed to have a hard time using her back legs. our vet wasn't answering the phone. the message said they were closed, the website said they should be open, no call back by noon. maybe he should have GONE but they're all curbside only, and what would they do? so he talked to me then he took her to the humane society and had her euthanized.
I mean, should we have tried more medical stuff? She was scampering around a week ago, what if she just got some little infection we should have tried treating?
On the other hand the vet has gotten plenty of time with her and we've spent well over $1000 over the course of the year and she was never healthy, adrenal disease leads to cancer and is fatal.
And the other other hand, we have had small pets like guinea pigs that I think had too long and hard of a death. I kind of blame the vet for prolonging treatment, even when I said very clearly "I understand that it's a guinea pig." I was left guilty about what we made that little animal suffer through in the weeks that followed, after being told by a vet that a partially paralyzed guinea pig might get better. after that, marc and I told each other we would err on the side of euthanasia if we were in doubt. and this was really the result.
josie was very sad because even though frankie was sick and weird and hairless and pooped everywhere, she was our special little princess ferret and loved dearly, the ferret most likely to crawl up and fall asleep on you. I don't know what the right answer is.