Message Number: YG1963 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-01 00:55:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Question for vets re: Aleutian disease symptoms

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Outlaw50@a... wrote:
> Hello doctors,
> As some of you know, we believe White Russian and Charmin' Charlie
> have Aleutian Disease. Starting about 2 weeks ago, I noticed that
> both are having very small stools. Both eat chicken gravy with
> ground bone and egg shells, as well as get a hairball remedy on a
> regular basis, so I don't think a blockage is involved. Both are
> tiring out a bit quicker than before, and Russian is becoming
> aggressive again. Could the small stools have anything to do with
> the AD?
Judy: No I don't think so. I'm sure that you are watching their
intake closely (the #1 cause of small stools). I can't think of a
eason that AD would cause diminshed stool volume.

> Also, I have been testing their urine with "Multistix 10 SG -
> strips for urinalysis. The problem is I'm not sure what's normal
> ferrets. Everything is at the lowest level, except for the ph,
> is at about 7.8, and the specific gravity, which is at 1.030. Can
> you help decipher this for me?

Multistix 10 SG test for protein, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, pH,
nitrite, ketone, glucose, leucocytes, and specific gravity - with the
exception of pH and specific gravity, you want everything to read at
the lowest level (or negative, as the case may be.) In the case of
terminal AD, end stage renal disease will esult in the leakage of
protein from the kidney (which normally reabsorbs it.) The fact that
there is none in the urine means the kidney is doing its job. The
same is true for glucose. The absence of blood and leucocytes
indicates that there is no infection in the urinary tract. Nitrites
screen for the presence of certain nitrate-reducing bacteria, but
this isn't very reliable in animals. Ketones would be present in
ferrets with diabetes. Bilirubin and urobilinogen are indicators of
liver disease and hemolytic uremia. You don't want any bilirubin,
but you do want a trace of urobilinogen (indicates the bile duct is
patent) pH is generally not of major import in animals without a
history of crystal formation - a slightly alkaline urine is normal in
most ferrets. Finally specific gravity measures the dilution or
concentration of the urine. 1.030 says that the kidney is working
well as far as water balance in the body.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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