Thor – My Ferret

These are pictures of my precious Thor.

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He is definately a Panda color, this is what he looked like at about 4 months, a reverse skunk with deep ruby red eyes.  His color started at the base of his neck and went back from there.  He’s in the tub there (he loved to play in the water and his feet look a little funny because they are wet.)

 

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This is what he looked like in the late fall when he blew his summer coat and his winter coat was coming in.

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When his next spring coat came in he had even less color, you can see the color is mostly at the tip of his tail but you can’t see the little bit of roaning over his left hip.

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At age 2, he had only a little bit of roaning on the tip of his tail and still a little bit over his left hip and now he has only a few dark hairs at the tip of his tail.  He is such a sweetie, and my fat boy ;P.  And yes because of the genetic defects involved in pandas, he is deaf.  A large percentage of the Pandas are either totally deaf or have some degree of hearing loss.   I also found the same problem, tho I don’t think it is as large of a percentage, in the blaze aka badger coloring 😦 .  That was the reason I brought Thor home, because after playing with him at the pet shop, I knew he was deaf and was concerned that he might not find a great home, because deaf kits are a little harder to nip train since they can’t hear the training cues, and people think they are biting and are mean :(.  My fear was he would be put down or injured by someone who thought he was mean.   At the pet shop the other ferrets were already ostracizing him because he was not responding to the squeeling they do to let each other know when the play gets a little too rough.  Like the kits, I make squeeling noises to let them know when they are playing too hard, so with Thor I had to use other techniques to teach him.  With Thor, it was time outs, because scruffing (holding them by the scruff of the neck like a mother cat does a kitten) made him very mad ;P.   It didn’t take very long to train him (about 2 weeks) and he plays gently with me now and is a pleasure to have as my fur baby.  Unlike most other ferrets who just want to go and do, he loves being held and cuddled, which works well for me, because I love to hold and cuddle him :).

Ferrets are awesome pets, but they are expensive (specialized housing,  food and vet bills) and time intensive, even tho they sleep about 16 to 18 hrs a day.  I clean and disinfect his cage and litter box twice a day and he is out of his cage and in his play pen (I also get into his play pen to play with him) or in my arms when I am home.  They need at least 3 or 4 hrs out of the cage a day (so they don’t end up with ulcers from cage stress, preferably playing with their favorite person :).)  The saddest part is that they only live for about 5 to 6 years.  Some may develop medical problems sooner and live shorter lives and some may live longer but it’s not the norm.  I personally think normal would really be more around 7 or 8 if they didn’t have the medical problems with cancers and other not fun medical stuff that surface as they age.  There has been a lot of debate in the ferret comunity as to rather it’s more of a problem here in the USA because of the genetic base and that it’s not such a problem (tho they do still have some of the problems) in the European domesticated ferret population.  It’s been a while since I checked in on that debate. 

It’s so hard to love them so much and have them only for 5 to 6 years and then they are gone.

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