Date: 2001-03-27 07:42:00 UTC
Subject: Whiskers and Heidi
My saga continues. First of all the other ferret that died
post-op had a gastric obstruction of what I thought was hair.
Two days after surgery he was home and started throwing up
again. He was obstructed again. He lived only a few hours
after the second surgery. I thought the vet had missed a hair
ball, but now I wonder.
My Heidi who I was preparing for surgery at 9 days out, in her
treatment for low blood sugar, was having very little nausea,
and not falling over when all of a sudden she couldn't keep
anything down. I knew it was a gastric obstruction. I called
the vet that did Whiskers surgery but the Ferret Dr.'s were
,"not here today." I called another vet that has a Ferret
surgeon but he was going home. He recommended a vet in Fort
Collins, Co. 110 miles away. I raced Heidi there by 2:00 and
by 5:00 she was in surgery with an x-ray visible obstruction.
This vet, Dr. Priscilla Dressen of North Star Veterinary
Clinic, has done over 400 Ferret surgeries, only losing about
4, and teaches at the CSU in small animal and exotic surgery.
She removed the obstruction and dissected some pancreatic
tumors. She found a marble sized adrenal tumor of the right
side but Heidi had already been under for 40 minutes. She
decided to close as an adrenal debulking would take another
hour. Heidi is doing great and is now 4 days post-op and
except for eating her stitches is doing well. Super glue is
wonderful for suture line repair.
When Heidi first came down with the symptoms of insulinoma I
bought a "Kozy Kage Ferret Sleep Sack" to suspend in her
carrier. It turns out her stomach was full of the "fuzz",
Sherpa lambs wool, that lines the bag. My daughter noticed it
sticking to Heide's face. With loose pile removed it
continued to shed with minimal rubbing.
Please let your readers know the danger of these and other
lamb's-wool-lined products. I will take legal action as this
unnecessary surgery cost Heidi her chance to have the adrenal
tumor removed anytime soon. With my Horse and Ferret dying
and this last surgery I'm tapped out, over $1,400 in three
I'm very thankful I found a good vet even under these
circumstances. I think it provided me with the hope I need to
put my other Ferrets through surgery. I don't care if I have
to travel 110 miles. It's worth it to get these kind of
To be continued,