Message Number: YG1020 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-10 00:55:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ferret not eating; odd blood results

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Dean and Becky DeGeer
<mysticswords@y...> wrote:
> I thought he might have a bad tooth, because he acted
> like he wanted to eat. He would go to the food bowl
> and pick up some food, but then just drop it again.
> Whenever I would feed him, he would grind his teeth on
> one side, and also rub that side of his face against
> the floor.

This sounds very much like gastric ulcers
( - for the whole rundown on ulcers).
Grinding teeth, picking up food and dropping it - that's a sign of
prandial and post-prandial abdominal pain.

Look down below - 34% hematocrit - that's a significant anemia. And
the most common cause of anemia in ferrets - that's right - an
ulcer. I'd start my treatment here.
> One thing that did concern her, though, were his blood
> results, specifically elevated creatinine (sp?) and
> low potassium. She mentioned something about it being
> a possible sign of renal failure, but that he wasn't
> showing the right symptoms.

These levels are not very high, and I am not currently concerned
about renal failure - the BUN is normal here. It would be nice to
have a phosphorus - I like that much better than potassium, which can
vary substantially due to a ferrets acid-base balance (blood pH). And
a urinarlysis really is a necessity before we diagnose renal failure.
I'm not thinking renal failure at this point.

Another that concerns me
> (though she didn't mention it), was a borderline low
> glucose. He had been fed about 2-3 hours before they
> drew the blood.

Let's recheck it again in a month - it's bnot too bad, but looking at
the lab's normal values, I would like it a LITTLE higher...

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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