Message Number: YG1024 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-10 01:11:00 UTC
Subject: Re: ferret unable to urinate

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., joan27@b... wrote:
> HELP I've been taking my ferret Sassy to the vet for difficulty
> urinating. There is no infection or stones and he was able to
> urinate enough for them to do a urinalysis so he did not treat. He
> did up his prednisone for suspected inflamatory bowel disease. His
> diareah has stopped but he is now only urinating small drops at a
> time every few minutes. I fear he may be adrenal although the only
> other sign he has is itching. He is 2yrs.4mos old. My vet treats
> adrenal with medication. Ir's Friday night and there are NO vets
> this area that are experienced with ferrets. Is there anything I
> do to help him until I am able to locate and get to an experienced
> vet. I am located in Edgewater Florida, {just south of Daytona
> if anyone can point me to a vet I have the name of a vet in
> Jacksonville and Dr. Kemmerer in Newbury. Both are quite a
> from me but I can do it if I have to. What can I do to help him

this is a situation where prompt vet attention is probably required.
Dysuria in male ferrets is most commonly caused by adrenal disease as
you surmised. The elevated levles of estrogen in affected ferets
result in prostate enlargement and a shutting off of the prostatic
urethra. These animals can't urinate on their own, but their
bladders, when squeezed, pass urine freely.

It is key that you at least start him on medical treatment to shrink
the prostate and protect it from the effectsof the estrogen. Lupron
(500mcg/kg for one dose and Proscar (or Propecia)at 1mg/kg daily
would be a good combination initially, but the key is going to be
aurgery to remove the adrenal. You may get your vet to start medical
therapy, and check the bladder to express the urine if necessary, but
I would call Dr. Kemmerer (she's great and we hope to have her on
here soon) Saturday to see about surgery ASAP. It sounds like he is
still a good candidate, but these guys can go down quickly.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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