Message Number: YG1470 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-20 00:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Sudden ferret blindness

> My 6 yr old female Jessie, has gone
> totally blind. It seemed to happen suddenly!


Annie had this same thing happen. She went blind virtually overnight.
My vet referred me to a nationally known veterinary ophthalmologist.
She confirmed that Annie was blind but could not find any reason for
the blindness (I don't remember all the details as this was many
years ago). She did rule out retinal degeneration. Annie was given a
prescription of prednisone but it didn't help.

About 4 months later, Annie regained her vision 100% - again
virtually overnight. The opthalmologist examined her again and was
baffled. We assumed there was a tumor pressing on her brain that had

Over the next 6 months, Annie went on to develop other signs that
could have been symptoms of a brain tumor. She even suffered from
kidney failure (which responded to sub-q fluids). But when I came
home one day and found her standing on her head in the corner, it was
time to put an end to her suffering. I have had several dozen ferrets
but I have never, ever bawled so much as that day. I just couldn't
bring myself to have a necropsy done on her so this will always be a

When I recently read White Russian's page on ADV, I became concerned.
Many of the signs listed were present in Annie. Neither my vet or I
thought about ADV in Annie. I tested her one remaining cagemate using
the saliva test. The cagemate was weak positive - meaning that she
had been exposed to the virus at some point.