Meet Mr. Burt
Burt has lived with us since he was a kit. He was born February 2002.
This is how we met. I was checking up on a pet store, back in 2002 and there were two tiny kits in an aquarium. One boy was emaciated and unable to eat because he was too young for kibble and the silly kids at the store didn't realize that he was suffering. The other boy was stronger and active and climbed up my arm like a bug when I reached for him.
Although I hated the idea of buying from a pet store, I gave in and brought the boys home and did my best to nurse them to health. Despite the fact that I often find kits in deplorable conditions at pet stores, this was the last time I purchased a kit from a store.
Soon after bringing these babies home, I discovered Ferrets Unlimited and began volunteering at the local ferret shelter.
Both boys thrived and I named them Burt and Ernie. Burt was the strong one and for many years he has been the strongest, smartest, (and naughtiest) of all our ferrets.
Currently, Burt is in his last days with us. In June, 2009, We took him in to have his spleen and remaining adrenal gland looked at, and they discovered that his spleen was large and his adrenal gland had a large neoplastic mass. They were able to remove his spleen, which makes him much more comfortable, but the doc feared that he would not survive the removal of his adrenal gland. The gland was as large as a lemon, and is likely cancerous. Fortunately, he recovered well from the surgery and he has been living like a king since June.
He just started showing signs of edema and his vet did not give him a good prognosis. He said that his tumor is preventing proper lymphatic drainage, which is causing his back legs to swell, which makes it hard for him to get around.
As a last resort, we are trying Lasix injections to reduce the swelling and so far it's working well. The vet has us trying this for a few days and if this keeps him comfortable, we may be able to buy him some more quality time, but if it does not work, then we have to consider helping him cross the bridge.
Burt in the Basket
Burt in the Basket © Julianne Gentile
Burt loves to sleep in this toy basket. It's full of soft plush toys and snuggly baby blankets.
Burt and Sniffles
Burt and Sniffles © Julianne Gentile
Both Sniffles and Ernie were sad when Ernie died. Fortunately, they found comfort in each other and I often found them snuggling together like this.