Dry Food, Ferrets And Insulinomas
Ferrets. these are strict predators. Therefore, their usual diet consists of a large amount of protein, fat with a minimum level of carbohydrates and fiber. Animals of the mustelids family are quite successful hunters for small prey such as rodents, hares, birds. The only thing that goes into their diet is non-meaty. it’s the partially digested contents of the victim’s stomach and intestines: small amounts of grain, fruits and vegetables. The nutritional value of such a diet can be defined as high protein and low in carbohydrates. For example, a nutritional analysis of a rat carcass will yield 55% protein, 38.1% fat, 1.2% carbohydrate, and 0.55% fiber. This is fundamentally different from the composition of dry feeds fed to ferrets. Commercial feeds offered for ferrets consist of dry granules with the following nutritional value: 22% .42% protein, fat 15-28%, carbohydrates 10-45%. At least a moderate amount of carbohydrates is required to process and create dry granules. Lastly, many owners give their ferrets high-sugar treats. And it becomes clear that the total carbohydrate content in the diet of the domestic ferret greatly exceeds the level contained in the natural marten diet.
Unlike animals that eat plant foods, ferrets have a very short gastrointestinal tract and poor intestinal flora. It takes only 3-4 hours for the food to pass through the ferret’s body from start to finish, therefore food assimilation is extremely ineffective. That is why a ferret needs a diet with a high concentration of fat, as the main source of calories (energy) and a well-digested animal protein. Potential ferret prey has it all, including vitamins and minerals. Ferrets should not get carbohydrates (grain, vegetables or fruits) as their main source of energy. Ferrets do not digest fiber from fruits or vegetables. The more fiber or carbohydrates in the diet, the lower the nutritional value of the food that the ferret receives. Plant protein is absorbed very poorly by the ferret. Ferrets that have vegetable protein in their diets can suffer from diseases such as urolithiasis, poor hair, skin problems, gastroenteritis (weight loss, diarrhea, skin ulcers, swelling of the extremities), poor puppy growth and decreased reproduction. So, to replenish energy reserves, ferrets use fat, not carbohydrates, and they need an animal, not a vegetable protein, that is well digested by their body.
Ferrets have a low concentration of brush border enzymes in the digestive tract compared to other carnivorous mammals. The colon of the ferret is short and poor in epithelial folds and has limited absorbent capacity. over, ferrets do not have a cecum, and therefore there is not enough flora to absorb carbohydrates.
What happens in the body of a ferret when it eats carbohydrates? When a ferret eats carbohydrates, pancreatic beta cells are stressed. The main function of beta cells is to control the level of glucose in the blood of a ferret. Source of glucose. carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are eaten, beta cells begin to be actively attacked by an excessively high level of glucose for the body and in attempts to return it to a normal level with insulin, they begin to hypertrophy. If you continue to feed a ferret with a high carbohydrate diet, the result of the process can be the complete destruction of beta cells. diabetes. Another option for the development of the scenario may be the possibility that, instead of destruction, they switch from a hypertrophic state to neoplasia (cancer). Neoplasia this is abnormal cell growth preceded by hyperplasia. This option is called insulinoma.
Ferret project. Bob Church
Bob Church, an anthropologist, launched the Ferret project in 2002, where he studied ferrets, their skeletons, anatomical features, nutrition, conditions, diseases, and genetic features for many years. Research has been conducted in 25 countries around the world. As a result of these studies, he confirmed the pre-existing hypothesis that the cause of insulinoma in most cases is feeding with dry food. The longer the ferret receives food with a large amount of carbohydrates, the higher the risk of insulinoma. In the process of his research, he did not meet a single polecat with insulinoma grown on natural nutrition. Neither in New Zealand, nor in Europe, nor in Australia, nor in North America. Bob met insulin in ferrets caught in nature in New Zealand, which they began to feed with dry food.
Bob Church has identified several factors that increase the risk of insulinomas in ferrets.
Ready-made dry foods high in carbohydrates.