The wonders of canned pure pumpkin

by Ann
(Warrenton, NC, USA)

I have three ferrets. My oldest has had stomach problems from day one. She would alternate between diarrhea and regular stools every few days. All my vets said that there was no underlying reason for it, and it could just be her ‘normal’ setting.

After she got treated for ulcers, we always had a supply of famotidine on hand. At first, this worked wonderfully, but she gradually seemed to get lethargic when I dosed her.

It wasn’t until my male had problems, though, that I even knew about alternatives. One day, I noticed he wouldn’t eat, had only liquid stool (when he could go), and was listless.

I called a vet, and explained the situation (in hopes of working out a payment plan, as I suspected a blockage). They advised canned pure pumpkin every four hours for 1-2 days.

We rushed out, I syringe fed it to him, and between doses I did research. Not only is pumpkin used for moving ingested matter out, it is also used as a stomach soother and stool regulator (for both diarrhea and constipation).

Yogi was a success. The pumpkin removed the hair and got him back to his old self. Now, have all three on it. And whenever Pixie looks like her stomach is bothering her, she gets a dose and it alleviates the upset without all the side-effects and dependency that can form with famotidine

Doses for laxative: 1-2 TBS every four hours until signs of matter appear in stool. Stop when ferret no longer evacuates foreign matter.

Tummy soother: 1 TBS 1-2 times daily, until symptoms disappear. (can mix in a duk soup or other treat if you want).

Photo credit : Queen Tazu and family


Comments for The wonders of canned pure pumpkin

Sep 09, 2014 Thanks!
by: Sausage

I have a ferret with insulinoma, and his prednisone has caused him to have diarrhea for 3 weeks now. We’ve tried carafate, pepto, and metamucil, to limited effect. We’re just about to start him on fast balance, and have started giving him pumpkin on our vet’s orders. After 2 doses, he is showing signs of improvement. Thank you for spreading the word about pumpkin!

May 19, 2012 Thank you
by: Carol D.

Thank you….this is very helpful since I have a 3 year old male that is alternating with his bowels……I knew about the pumpkin…but never knew how much to give him……..Thanks.

Mar 30, 2009 pure pumpkin
by: JC
Thanks Ann.
I have a 9 year old who stops eating from time to time. I will try the pumpkin. Her stools have gotten very loose again & I’m afraid she’ll stop eating. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

26 thoughts on “The wonders of canned pure pumpkin”

  1. I have a ferrat that has been limp and not eating for three days now plus she seems to have lost her sight,iishe was given to my daughter about 6 months ago and has been pretty happy and healthy till now.please I need help

  2. Hi Connie
    I honestly can’t imagine what could have happened to your little girl. Is her poop normal or skinny – if skinny she could have swallowed something which is blocking her gut and that’s why she’s not eating ๐Ÿ™
    Take a look at the symptoms and see if she’s exhibiting any of them …

    Whatever, you MUST take her to see a vet for him to examine her properly and diagnose the problem. If she hasn’t eaten for 3 days now, she’ll be very weak and ferrets really need to eat little but often.
    If it is a blockage, then it might be that she’ll need an operation otherwise she might die if it’s ignored.
    I don’t think you should be too worried about her losing her sight. I’ve had several ferrets who’ve developed cataracts and they’ve scooted around the house without any problems so it’s not a major problem, however her not eating is.
    I hope you find out what’s wrong with your little one and get her back to normal asap.
    Hugs to your little girl from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have a little ferret(Snoopy) that has in the last 3-4 days stopped eating and therefore no pooping either. I’m going to try the pumpkin and see if it helps. Thanks!

  4. Oh Lynn, I really think you should take Snoopy to a (ferret) vet to get checked out! ๐Ÿ™
    It really doesn’t sound right that your little boy won’t eat and now won’t poop – it could be such a dangerous thing!
    If you need a list of ferret savvy vets in your area, please check out my list of US Ferret Vets to see if there’s a good vet near to where you live …

    Please don’t rely on the pumpkin, Lynn! It could be something entirely different and if you don’t get your Snoopy to a ferret vet, it could be bad news ๐Ÿ™
    Fingers crossed you can find out why Snoopy isn’t eating and even more fingers crossed that your little guy gets better soon!!!
    Big hugs to Snoopy from his pals down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. My little Navi I think ate something and I’ve had difficulties getting her to see a vet. She still eats her baby food I spoon feed, I dont have firce feed her with it yet. she still drinks plenty of water on her own, so that’s good. So she still has some spunk to her despite her being a bit thinner and having problems pooping. I tried giving her ferret lax for a few days and it didnt do much for her, and so I tried Mineral Oil, and it seemed to help for a bit and I think the item moved more coz she had the most she ever pooped that day. but it went back to little pooping. and it’s been a battle trying to get her into the vet. I’m hoping to get her in this Sat. But I’m getting desperate on trying to keep her going until then. So I finally bough some pumpkin, and I’ve used it for a day so far, and I’ve noticed there is a bit more poop than there has been, more substance too it as well. So I think the pumpkin may be working. I’m hoping by Sat it will be cleared and I can save a few hundred dollars. I’m still gonna get her checked out even if she goes back to normal, just to make sure her insides are all good and double check everything, but I’d rather a check up than a surgery, so hopefully this pumpking is working and will clear her out ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh Christine, I really hope your Navi has a good poop and gets rid of whatever is stopping up her gut ๐Ÿ™
    It’s good that you say she’s still drinking well but please keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t get dehydrated! If you think she is, do get some electrolytes from the vet to put in her water as that is what helped my Snoopy when she had swallowed that olive pit ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Is the poop very skinny? Is it green and gassy looking? I hope not as that could mean things aren’t going well in her stomach ๐Ÿ™
    Christine, why is it so hard for you to get to see your vet? Is there another ferret vet nearby you could go to instead? I’ve updated my Ferret Vets pages so please take a look and see if you can get to see someone soon. Ferrets can go downhill so quickly it’s frightening ๐Ÿ™

    Have you thought of giving Navi a smoothie with supplements to keep her as strong as possible? If she’s happy to drink, get some NO LACTOSE milk and mix an egg yolk in it with supplements like Astaxanthin, which is – IMHO – a fantastic antioxident. My guys get two drops in their smoothie with other supplements but that’s because one of my girls has a swollen liver.
    You can read more about astaxanthin which I posted on my forum a while ago …

    I really hope you get to see the vet soon and that Navi doesn’t have anything which needs an operation!
    Sending lots of healing vibes to your little girl and please give her a big hug from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. i have a 2 year old mink girl who has runny or hard stools as she pleases i dont suddenly change the food and shes a healthy 650g but i am going to give the pumkin a try as i thought vegies were a no no so thank you in advance from gemma an i

  8. Debbie
    Veggies as a regular diet is a definite no-no for ferrets as it has no nutritional value and if a ferret might eat a small piece of carrot, say, it could get stuck in their stomach and cause a blockage. Ferrets do not do well with fibre ๐Ÿ™
    Also, back in the 1990s, people thought giving their ferrets raisins as a treat was great but years later it turns out that raisins can cause insulinoma due to their sugar content ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™
    So while I hope the pure pumpkin will help regulate Gemma’s poop, I hope you don’t give it to her every day as it might cause problems in the long term ๐Ÿ˜€
    Hugs to Gemma from her new buddies down under ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I just got a new baby girl and she had normal poops in the store. Two days later (I’m guessing after food change) she had diarrhea. It’s been five days. She still eating, drinking and has plenty of energy. Should o try pumpkin to level her out?

  10. Deidre, I personally haven’t tried pure pumpkin on any of my guys when they had diarrhea but from what I’ve heard, it works and doesn’t hurt the ferret.
    Follow the advice that Ann gave and just give your girl the dose for “Tummy Soother”, as the other dose might be too strong for what she has and please make sure you get the “pure” pumpkin. I believe that any other type of pumpkin wouldn’t be good to give to ferrets.
    Certainly from what other ferret owners have said, it seems to do the trick and stop the diarrhea so I hope it helps your girl!
    Hugs to your little girl from her new friends down under ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. My girl has been diagnosed with lymphoma. She is being treated with anti-inflammatory and hasn’t had a “nice poo” since. She’s had antibiotics and antacids to try to help, but no luck! I’m going to try the pumpkin. Fingers crossed!

  12. Oh Zim, I am so sorry to hear about your girl ๐Ÿ™
    Have you read my page about Lymphoma?

    I would suggest you getting Essiac and putting that in her smoothie – I was using Essiac for my last silvermitt girl and it worked wonders! She really picked up but, unfortunately, when Mojo, my albino girl died, Kimiko just gave up the will to live and refused to take the Essiac. She died soon afterwards ?
    Milk Thistle is also good for protecting your girl’s liver from strong medication.
    Wishing your little one as good a quality of life as you can provide for her and big hugs from her new friends down under โค๏ธ

  13. Oh Erin, I honestly don’t know as it was one of my readers who posted that ?
    I’ve never used pumpkin on my guys but it might be an idea to just give your ferret pumpkin for one day, for it to work, then the next day make sure your ferret has proper food available when having the pumpkin? ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ
    Sorry I can’t be of more help! โ˜น๏ธ

  14. My ferret Loki was/is (he is a good deal better now) having trouble passing stool, Ive started giving him pumpkin with his dry food mashed up and mixed with it, He loves it! After one dose his stool seems much more regular.

  15. I’m so glad to hear that the pumpkin helped Loki, James ? Thanks so much for sharing that information here – much appreciated!
    Hugs to Loki from his new friends down under !!

  16. My ferret has insulinoma and adrenal disease and is on prednisone and the implant for treatment but she has had diarrhea for more than a week now. Her medication for diarrhea is no longer working for her and the vet gave me no hope for anything better. Iโ€™m desperate. Iโ€™d like to see if thereโ€™s any advice I can get to do at home for her. I am currently force feeding her and give her electrolytes to keep her alive but I hate to see her this way.

  17. Oh Itzel, I feel your pain, I really do! ?
    Have you tried giving your girl the pumpkin to stop her runny poop? I personally haven’t tried it (almost impossible to find in WOz), but people who have used it say it really works to dry up the diarrhea!
    Also, have you seen my pages about Adrenal and Insulinoma? Take a look and see what supplements are mentioned there. As your baby is on pred, I would recommend getting Milk Thistle as that really help the liver.
    I have given my guys supplements over the years and one which I found was a great antioxidant is Astaxanthin. If you order it for your girl, make sure it’s the one from Hawaii (Bio-Astin), as I’ve been told that’s the best quality around.
    Another supplement I’d suggest is Essiac Tonic. I gave it to my last silvermitt, who had both diseases like your girl, and it gave her a real bounce ?

    I’ve also written up a page about the Natural Remedies I’ve used in the past …

    At the moment I have two brothers who are (touch wood) healthy but I put supplements in their daily smoothie to keep them in as good shape as possible for as long as possible! I’d also suggest you give your girl a daily smoothie with supplements, the recipe is on the Natural Remedies page.

    You don’t have to add as many supplements as I have there but the ones I would suggest you give her are : Milk Thistle, Astaxanthin & Essiac (liquid).
    Information about Essiac Tonic can be found here …

    I don’t know if you have a good place to get supplements from. If you haven’t, try I used them for all of my potions and find them very reasonably priced and their customer service is great.
    Hope this has been of some help to you and you manage to get your baby some quality of life during her remaining time with you.
    Hugs to your little one from my boys down under โค๏ธ
    Wishing you and her all the very best

  18. Ok so my oldest baby Mickey is constipated. He is still eating,drinking and peeing.We are bringing him to the vet tomorrow as soon as they open. I tried to find pumpkin,but being a holiday, stores are closed. All I could find is “One PiE” pumpkin in a can. Under ingredients it just says “prepared pumpkin”. Should I not try this? Not sure if it’s safe or same as pure pumpkin. Should I just try some mineral oil maybe? Any suggestions would be incredibly appreciated.

  19. Hi Betty
    I would be reluctant to give Mickey that can of pumpkin as the lady who wrote that article about pure pumpkin was pretty adamant that that was what to get. Unfortunately we can’t get pure pumpkin easily in Australia so I’ve never tried it on my guys ๐Ÿ™
    If you can get some cat laxative it would help, or even some coconut oil but it would be best if it was organic coconut oil, or if you have some olive oil at home that would work. However if you don’t have anything like those items at home and the stores are all closed, then I guess a bit of mineral oil would help! I am reluctant to recommend it as I’ve never used it on my ferrets!
    Hope all goes well at the vet and you get Mickey’s bowels to work properly again ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. My little girl Sparta is 3 yrs old and over the past few days became not fully able to use her back legs and now her front right leg, she has more movement in her back end, but you can tell she is not doing well at all. She sleeps more then normal and she tries to dance on the side of her cage in the mornings when we get up and ready for work. One evening she was out having fun being a spunky little goofball our Sparta is and then the next day just not herself. She is drinking water on her own she will come out of her cage but with assistance, not eating and has lost her healthy weight, sheโ€™s not our baby no more ? Iโ€™m wondering if she has a blockage bc I have notice her poop is green and thin at first and now I havenโ€™t noticed any new poop in her littler. I donโ€™t know if we should try the pumpkin with her to see if it helps, we have an appointment for her. I gave her a bath and it seemed to cheer her up. We just want our little Sparta baby to feel better and get back to herself

  21. Oh Erin, poor little Sparta ? I’m so glad you’re taking her to a vet as she’ll need medical help.
    Yes, do try her with the pumpkin as it might help solidify her poop and it can’t hurt her.
    I hope your vet will tell you what to do to help her get back to normal but if he doesn’t, come back and tell me and I’ll be happy to let you know about supplements and food to give her to make her regain her strength!
    Good luck – I hope the vet will give her medication to make her better!
    Hugs to Sparta from her new buddies down under โค

  22. Was really happy to hear about the effectiveness of pumpkin since my ferret’s been grunting a lot while running back and forth to defecate. Not completely solid but only rarely runny. Just gave her a tbsp and she wolfed it right down. Has also been eating and drinking regularly, but right now she’s grunting and trying to pass stool but only small runny amounts at a time and its been at least a couple hours of this and it’s becoming heartwrenching. Just little grunts and squeaks, but constant. She’s always contained in safe areas for play, so all I can imagine for blockage is a possible hairball. Is this normal behaviour for the pumpkin remedy or do I need to see a vet asap? And thank you for all the input thus far, she’s vetting older and I’ve felt pretty helpless these past weeks. Assumed it was just stress since her sister recently passed away.

  23. Hi Sam
    I think it would be wise to take your little one to be checked over by the vet. If it is a largish hairball then it might need to be removed by the vet – I honestly don’t know.
    The only blockage I’ve ever had was when my recently sterilised girl swallowed a dry old olive pit and when I took her to the non-ferret locum vet on the Saturday after her operation on Thursday. He misdiagnosed her as having gastro ?โ€โ™€๏ธ We had to rush her to a 24 hour vet on Sunday, and they operated on her. It was touch-and-go but she pulled through and was fine afterwards. Phew!
    Then I thought my male had a blockage because his poop was green and skinny. The vet x-rayed him then did an ultrasound and I was told it wasn’t a blockage but he had lymphoma, and the cancer had wrapped itself around his gut! Six weeks later he was gone ?
    Blockages are so dangerous, especially foam objects which don’t get picked up by x-rays.
    So, if you suspect a blockage, it would be a really good idea to get a vet to see him ?
    Hope all goes well and it’s nothing serious.
    Hugs to your little man from his new buddies down under โค

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