Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ebony Is Sick

I'm sorry this post is two days late. Things have been a bit fraught here lately. Ebony, my four year old sable ferret is sick. She has been looking pale and interesting for a few days now and I've been keeping an anxious eye on her for more concrete symptoms. She is my granddaughter Hannah's favourite ferret because Hannah can hold her and Ebony will just continue her 23 hour nap in Hannah's arms. Hannah says that Ebony is quiet but the other ferrets are too jazzy for her liking. Ebony is far from Jazzy.

Being an unjazzy ferret means that it's hard to tell when she's feeling off colour. Most active ferrets slow down when they aren't feeling well, but if Ebony slowed down any further she'd be comatose. Ebony also suffers from hay fever so the odd sneeze or two isn't an indication of germs running rampant in that little body. A word here about Ebony's hay fever. Horton, by four year old white male ferret share's Ebony's delicate nasal tissues and suffers from hay fever as well. Both ferrets like nothing better than to embarras me in front of visitors who have wanted to meet them but diving under some piece of furniture and coming out with a large dustbunny on their nose and performing the most elaborate sneezing session you've ever seen! Both little ferrets are jet propelled backwards by the force of each sneeze, leaving the visitor in no doubt that 1. I'm a bad housekeeper and 2. My poor little ferrets are made to suffer because of it.

The first real indication that Ebony wasn't well came on Friday night. I took their dinner out to their cage and woke Ebony up to tell her dinner was served. Ebony usually makes her way to the feed dish in a somewhat sonabilist way, gives herself a littl shake to help her wake up properly, and tucks into dinner with the only show of energy we see all day. On Friday Ebony showed no interest in the feed dish and simply wanted to go back to bed. I placed some of the food on the spoon and offered it to Ebony so she wouldn't have to muscle in amongst the other ferrets getting their nightly calories, but Ebony only ate two little nibbles and then refused the rest. Ebony is normally a rotund little ferret so this was very unusual. I picked her up to have a good look at her and, after putting my reading glasses on, noticed she had a yucky nose to go with her loss of apetite. Like the good mother I am, I cleaned up her nose, felt it to see if she was running a temperature and the proceeded to worry about her for the rest of the night. It was too late to call the vet so I had to wait until morning.

Of course, Ebony had chosen the worse day to confirm her illness. Saturday was the day Graeme and I had two meetings about 100 kilometres apart to attend that day. After a night of intense worry that Ebony would prove too ill to make it through the night, giving her lots of cuddles and moral support (when I should have let her get some sleep to help in her recovery) and generally tossing and turning all night, Saturday morning shone bright and clear. Ebony was up and about - very, very unusual for her and champing at the bit to get at her food bowl. If it wasn't for her yucky nose again this morning I might have called the whole idea of the vet off, but the yucky nose was there, and no matter how hard she tried to convince me she was on the mend, little sneezes errupted every now and then.

Organising the vet visit was both complicated and time consuming. It involved dropping her off at the vet's, going to meeting number 1, Graeme leaving the meeting early and picking Ebony up and then taking her to Savannah and Justin's to be babysat until the meeting finished. Picking Ebony up from there and taking her home, then leaving for meeting number 2. It's a good thing she's such a gorgeous ferret I tell you!!!

Ebony is home and recovering now. She has to take the tiniest amount of antibiotic you've ever seen from the tiniest syringe you've ever seen. It's banana flavoured so Ebony is all in favour of being medicated. In fact she'd like to be medicated a bit more - she loves bananas.

So all in all things didn't go to badly for Ebony. We still hear little sneezes coming from the middle of the pile of blankets in the inside ferret cage and I still have the pleasure of nose cleaning a couple of times a day, but Ebony is over the worst and well and truly on the mend.

All I have to do is worry about Miette catching the dreaded respiratory infection now. Miette is a Prima Donna of the highest degree so won't that be fun?!