Message Number: YG1467 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-19 23:27:00 UTC
Subject: Re:Sudden ferret blindness

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Michele Abel Focer"
<ferretlady@m...> wrote:
> Hello all, I hope this finds all of you and your "kids" well. My 6
yr old
> female Jessie, has gone totally blind. It seemed to happen
suddenly! She
> gets around pretty well though. My vet can't figure out why she is
> she appears otherwise healthy. We ruled out cataracts. Her pupils
> completely dilated and unresponsive to light. I suspected diabetes,
but her
> fasting B/G was 80. Any suggestions for this distressing situation?
> you ! Michele

Dear Michele:

Probably the most common cause of blindness in ferrets is retinal
atrophy. It was initially reported by Tom Kawaski in the Journal of
Small Exotic Animal Medicine about ten years ago, but has not
received a lot of attention since then. I am currently looking at
about twenty cases of the conditions for a publication.

A good fundoscopic exam should show evidence of this condition.
Unfortunately, this is a degenerative condition with no treatment

Retinal degeneration is usually not a sudden thing - but this is not
an unusual observation. Ferrets do very well with diminishing
eyesight - and cover it up until they go totally blind.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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