Bolton Ferret Welfare - May 1996
by Sheila Crompton
1st of April, pick up mail, open one envelope to discover a cheque for Bolton Ferrets, do a bit of a double take as it drawn on the Co-op Bank and it is All Fools Day! Read enclosed note to find that is for a show we did last August. Bolton Metro a made profit on the show and thought that we'd like a donation. I wonder whether or not to try to open an account with the Co-op Bank but decide to try Lloyds. The staff at the Bolton branch of Lloyds are absolutely fascinated with Kurt and are only too happy to open an account for the ferrets but they do decline Kurt's offer to sign cheques.
Update on Bill's progress, the abscess cleared up with extended use of antibiotics. However, on the 18th March I noticed that he had a tuft of fur sticking up on his head, I thought that it because he was moulting but decided to check it out, I found a hard lump which I took to be another abscess forming. An appointment was made for a visit to the vet for the following day, £5 for antibiotics and an appointment for a operation the following week.
We could do without the hassle of vet's appointments at that time because we were moving out of our temporary accommodation into our newly renovated house.
Bill was duly taken to the vet in the morning and when I called back during the afternoon I was informed that the vet had had to do an emergency Caesarean on a cat so Bill was still waiting. I 'phoned at 6 o'clock to check if I could collect him the receptionist commented "Oh yes, the ferret that's had a big operation, I'll see how he is." I was rather mystified about the big operation bit and reckoned that the receptionist had got him mixed up with another patient! When I arrived at the vets I was informed by the vet that it had been a hammer and chisel job!! The hard lump had been a mushroom shaped bone tumour, not an abscess! I asked if was malignant, however, without a biopsy the vet couldn't be sure but he said that most bone tumours were. Bill's operation ended up costing me £35 instead of the £20 I was expecting. It's now a case of wait and see - thank heavens animals don't realise just how serious their conditions are, at least he's well fed and happy and the his quality of life is good. His next visit to the vet will be for a distemper vaccination along with Ben, Treacle and Lily. They have to get ready for the 'show season'.
Inga had an operation for the removal of a melanoma from her left ear in February, the rim of her ear was black (frost-bitten) when I collected her, the frost-bitten part has now dropped off and unless you are really looking you don't notice that part of her ear is missing.
28th March I received a 'phone call from a young lady in Atherton regarding a ferret that was running around in the back yards. She'd been informed by the R.S.P.C.A. that I would go and catch it!!! I said that I would collect the ferret when it had been caught, I explained that I did not have cages (such as the R.S.P.C.A. have) for trapping an animal neither did I have the time to spend looking for a ferret that could have wandered away, be sleeping, or hiding. I explained how she could trap the ferret if it was spotted again, a week later I was contacted to say that the ferret had been trapped, we arrived in Atherton half-an-hour later to find a young sandy jill fast asleep under a cardboard box, on top of the box were three bricks! Lily, as she is now called, is settling down very nicely and will be doing PR work along with the rest of 'em when we start doing the shows. Last year I had a group of five ferrets, now I have "Fritz's Mob" consisting of:- Fritz, Kurt, Bumper and Deanna Troi, "The Donks" (short for donkeys) McCoy, Dax, Daniel and Max and "Inga's Gang" Inga, Treacle, Bill, Ben and Lily. Treacle has made up for early days of starvation - I was pleased when he first started putting on weight, however, he is now pear shaped instead of ferret shaped. I don't want to have to put him on a diet as that will mean removing him from the group as biscuits (a mixture of dry cat food and Ferret Complete) are always available. I haven't put Treacle on the scales lately (I haven't found out which box the scales are in!).
The main public library in Bolton has gone 'hi-tech' with most of the books catalogued on computer they also have a computer dedicated soley to a database of Community Services which lists local organisatons plus branches of national organisations. Bolton Ferret Welfare is now listed on there, no feed back from the entry yet.
(First published May 1996)