Posted: December 1, 2008, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I read the article on ferret poop. When a ferret has the “bird seed” poop, it said that you should keep it off the kibble and give it a bland diet. How long should the bland diet be given?
A: The point of the bland diet is that the bird-seed poop represents non-absorbed nutrients. A bland diet in this case does not mean a diet that is boring or one that has no taste, but a diet with easily digestible nutrients.
Highly nutritious liquid diets may be characterized as “bland,” but to the body they are anything but. They are packed with nutrients that are easily absorbed so the body does not need to break them down to use them.
In your ferret’s case, the goal is to get your ferret better, as soon as possible, and get him or her back onto a normal diet. Once you see your ferret’s signs improving and the stools are not bird-seed like, gradually switch back to normal food. Liquid diets are not meant to be given forever, and they can also lead to looser stools. The goal is to get a ferret back to its regular diet as soon as possible.