Message Number: YG1144 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-12 00:14:00 UTC
Subject: Re: (no subject)

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., cjbandit@a... wrote:
> Hi DR. Williams,
> Bandit is still struggling with what I believe is ECE-and although
he is more
> energetic and will eat if lap fed his poops are still very seedy.
> continues to chew at the air during feedings and eats very little
> kibble-looks hungry but when he finds it, starts and stops.

Boy, I sure do wonder about ulcers at this point - chewing at the
air, and stopping eating shortly after starting (could this be pain)

I know you said
> to avoid the kibble, but when I'm not home during the day I want
him to have
> access to food-so to take it easier on his system I'm adding water
to it.

That won't make it any easier on his intestine - his teeth, maybe,
his gut not. I don't restict it beause it's hard, but because for an
ECE-infected ferret - it's undigestible. Undigested food results in
seedy poop.

> continue the babyfood (3-4) feedings a day and more on the
weekends. After
> reading several posts, I have to wonder if something else could be
going on
> with Bandit as well...His urine is never concentrated always very
> seems thirsty a lot and has a lack of appetite. Could this be
indicative of
> renal failure (kidney problems)-if I have the vet run some
bloodwork what
> should I be looking for???

It never hurts to run bloodwork, but don't go into it thinking it's
just what you read about on the list. Go in with an open mind and
see what pops up. If the "renal enzymes" (why do vet's call them
this - they're not enzymes) are normal, you have your answer.

> Also I was looking on line for some calorie supplements for Bandit
> addition to the babyfood and I found some products that I thought
might be
> helpful to him. Could you please comment.

As I am not an herbalist or nutritionist, I have deleted all of my
potentially smart-alecky answers. (Yes, I edit myself at times.)

As I say so often with ECE - be patient. The tendency is to want to
switch to something else, or find a magic potion. Stay the course,
stick with the bland diet and lots of TLC. He will come around.

Recovery from this disease takes time, and for some animals it takes
even longer. If you know it is ECE from the start, and you begin
with the appropriate treatment, rather than making the therapeutic
rounds eventually getting to ECE, the course of therapy is usually
smoother. Bandit is progressing, albeit slowly - loose stools are
now seedy - seedy will slowly progress to formed. He's alive, I
assume he is maintaining weight, and this may literally take months.
If we was going to go to another plane of existence, he would have
done it by now. But he'll recover on his own time.

If you want to continue giving kibble, you have to accept the seedy
stools. He's not going to digest it, whether you soak it or grind
it. Right now he can digest the baby food, and perhaps some Ensure -
he doesn't digest all of it, but he gets a lot more out of it than
out of the kibble.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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