Message Number: YG1726 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Amy and Jim Robbin
Date: 2001-03-25 20:15:00 UTC
Subject: Hairballs or Ulcers

Hi Laura. If the vomiting keeps up, you may want to have
your vet do a barium swallow to be sure that Panda's esophagus
is in good working order. My Buster had intermittent episodes
of vomiting, but his poops were always normal. He behaved
normally shortly after vomiting. His stomach would also make
very loud noises. He seemed to eat well, but kept losing
weight. Then after months of this he began grinding his teeth
and rubbing his face. I went to multiple, very good
vets...put him on every medication they could think of, ran
every test, changed his diet multiple times...still no luck.
Finally one picked him up to palpate his stomach, and up came
a treat that he had eaten three hours before! This vet gave
him a barium swallow and exrayed him. It turned out he had
Megaesophagus. It's not common in ferrets, however since this
happened I've met at least a half dozen other owners who had
experienced this.

Megaseophagus is a condition where the food is not propelled
to the stomach, it just pools in the esophagus until it is
expelled. At times when the food does make it to the stomach
you hear the strangest noise...almost like a drain unclogging.

Good luck and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and Panda.


May I go back to the subject of hairballs in ferrets again? We
became part of this list when the hairball picture was on
Yahoo's website and when I read about it I was sure that this
was the problem of our 5 year old Panda. When I talked to my
vet, though, he felt sure it was ulcers and prescribed
Tagamet. Because I feel unsure may I tell you Panda's
symptoms and maybe someone has experienced this. I grind and
soak all of Panda's food because his stomach seems so
sensitive, but even so, often if I pick him up right after
eating he will vomit up a very little bit. Even if he is not
picked up he will often vomit a bit up. Also after he eats
you can hear his stomach growl. In the last month he has
started coughing maybe 5 or 6 times in a row a couple times a
day. He sound just like a cat sounds just before it vomits up
a hairball. His weight is great, he looks great, he's
playful. He's getting Petromalt every other day. His poops
are fine. He was on Tagamet for a week an!
d I will say that he has not vomited as much since then. We
would welcome comments!