Message Number: YG1407 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-17 23:47:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Pepto Bismol vs Kaopectate

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Amy and Jim Robbin" <amyjimr@m...>
> Silly question but...which is better. I have both and have a hard
time making up my mind which one to use. Of course the furkids like
the Kaopectate better.

Dear Amy:

The real question here is "better for what"? It all depends on what
problem you are using it for. Pepto-Bismol has an anti-inflammatory
property which makes it a better choice for some inflammatory
conditions of the stomach, such as helicobacter infection, and ulcers.

Kaopectate is called an adsorbent - it supposedly binds some toxins
and/or bacteria in the intestine and has a protective coating
action. Its effectiveness in diarrhea in any species is largely
anecdotal, and I generally don't think it has much of any use in
ferrets. If your ferret has diarrhea, it is there for a reason. I
believe a better wya to approach the problem of diarrhea in ferrets
is not to try to control motility or "firm up the stools" by giving
chemicals, but to let the body's natural defense mechanisms do their
thing - moving out the bad poop quickly, and concentrate of
replenishing the fluids and electrolytes that may be lost. When I
was gong thorugh vet school - that might be the most important lesson
that I was taught - if there is something bad in the poop that the
body wants to get rid of - the last thing you want to do is to make
it so the body retains it.

I have never prescribed Keopectate for ferrets - it won't harm them,
but really doesn't do any good. I rarely use Pepto-Bismol these
dats, except in cases of Helicobacter infection - for ulcers,
Carafate does a much better job.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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