I no longer use this blog, but I'm leaving it up for archival purposes. Feel free to ask me ferret questions, though, through email instead. (See most recent post.)

 

honest-i-swear:

Bandit & Wilson

(Wilson is the one with the whiter face)

Two widdle Waardenburgs :D Cuties~

This question was too long for your ask… sorry!

So I have had my two ferrets Scout and Dawn, both female and spayed, for about a year now. Scout is super playful, loving, and all around just a great happy little ball of fluff. Dawn on the other hand… well Dawn gets along with Scout just fine, but I’m convinced she hates humans. Since I first got her, she has never expressed any interest in receiving human affection. In fact, sometimes when I go to pick her up she will turn around and bite me. I’ve been trying to break her of this habit by grabbing her by the scruff and firmly saying, “no,” and for a while it seemed to work. But now she’s back to biting again! And worse than before. :( I’ve tried being loving towards her and she just doesn’t want it… and now even when I reprimand her, she tries to bite me immediately afterwards. She really just seems completely unhappy… she does play with Scout from time to time, but when she does she very rarely ever makes that “dook” noise. 

Am I just overreacting? Is she just a ferret that will never like people and should be left alone? I don’t know what to do. :(

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How long have you had Dawn? Did you adopt her from another person? She could have been mistreated in her previous home. Or even if you got her from a pet store, it could be that she had a traumatic experience and has a hard time trusting humans as a result. There’s a ferret named Dominique at the shelter like that. She’ll invite you to play about 1 time out of 10, but if you get your hands too close or when you grab her to put her away she whirls around, teeth bared, ready to bite. Ferrets have a hard time breaking habits, so it could take a long, long time (and by long time I mean maybe even a year) for them to grow to trust again. 
In the mean time, try putting nasty-tasting and bad-smelling stuff (Bitter YUCK or Time Out!) on your fingers. That may do the trick since scruffing seems to not do the trick. 
Also, does she have an all white head or a white spot(s)/stripe(s) on her head? Or is she a dark-eyed-white? If so, she could be deaf, and is being startled by you. Deafies are kind of hard to socialize and train sometimes. 

I was just wondering, for confirmation purposes mainly, but I do believe our little girl is partially deaf at least, she wont react to anything but really loud noises and she deadsleeps all the time. She also plays really loud, dooking and hissing a lot. Does this look like a case of waardenburg syndrome?
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Yes! She has a lot of white splotches, and if you compare her eyes to a normal ferret’s, you’ll notice she’s probably a little “cross-eyed” or at least the orientation of her eyes is set a little differently. Waardenburg animals and people also have malformed palates in their mouths, so I think that’s why deafies look a little goofy in the face department. ANYWAYHer behavior sounds exactly like a deafie. Deafies dook and hiss and squeal a lot more than hearing ferrets. It could be that she has some degree of hearing, but she’s definitely a Waardenburg. Very cute, too. ;D 

I was just wondering, for confirmation purposes mainly, but I do believe our little girl is partially deaf at least, she wont react to anything but really loud noises and she deadsleeps all the time. She also plays really loud, dooking and hissing a lot. Does this look like a case of waardenburg syndrome?

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Yes! She has a lot of white splotches, and if you compare her eyes to a normal ferret’s, you’ll notice she’s probably a little “cross-eyed” or at least the orientation of her eyes is set a little differently. Waardenburg animals and people also have malformed palates in their mouths, so I think that’s why deafies look a little goofy in the face department. 
ANYWAY
Her behavior sounds exactly like a deafie. Deafies dook and hiss and squeal a lot more than hearing ferrets. It could be that she has some degree of hearing, but she’s definitely a Waardenburg.
Very cute, too. ;D 

veaghan:

gpo me and @connerxvx :$

A perfect example of kits exhibiting the nursing habit on each other. Usually this occurs when kits are taken from their mothers at too young of an age, so they still have that urge to nurse. They start to nurse, suck, and teethe on another ferret’s ears. I see this all the time at work with the Marshall’s kits. Perhaps it is also a comforting thing— maybe they miss their mother and need that familiar motion to feel safe and comfortable. 

Have You Guys Ever Noticed…

…that Waardenburg (deaf) ferrets always look kind of cross-eyed? Or just dopey in general? (Waardenburg syndrome often results in a malformed palate, I think, so maybe that has something to do with it…?)

A fellow volunteer’s ferret Missy leaping to the dresser to chow on cat food. 

Ferrets. Can. Jump. But only if it’s worth it.