Message Number: YG2025 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-02 00:43:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Can a kidney infection kill a ferret in one day -
Ziggy's dead

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Donald Dittman" <ddittman@c...>
> I had a six year old male neutered, descented and in good health.
He had the
> ECE when Franny (remember, Dr. Williams?) and my other ferrets had
it in
> Dec. Even though he started eating his kibble again and a bowl of
> chicken baby food each day, he never really regained his strength.
He lost
> about a pound over the months then stabilized. He was still having
> of diarrhea but since I heard that could occur and he was healthy
> I was not concerned. Friday, he ate, played with his buddies and
> normal except maybe a little listless. I thought since I'd had to
leave them
> for four days with only my mom take care of them that maybe he was
> Saturday morning he wouldn't eat his baby food but had a bowel
movement and
> seemed again tired but okay. Saturday afternoon I walked by his
sleep sack
> and noticed he was laying oddly in it. I picked him and he seemed
sort of
> limp. I offered him a lick of linatone which he refused and then I
> scared. I set him down and he tried to crawl back in his sleep sack
but his
> hind legs wouldn't hold him. I called the vet and said I was on my
way up. I
> tried the kayro syrup just in case but by then he became glassy
eyed and
> limp. It's a forty-five minute drive to my vet and when I got there
the vet
> said he had a massive kidney infection involving both kidneys. He
gave him
> an antibiotic shot and some fluids although he wasn't really
dehydrated. He
> asked me to leave Zigs and he would take him home where he could
keep watch
> over him. He called to hours later to say that Ziggy's kidneys had
shut down
> and he was gone. He asked if I keep poisons where Zigs could have
gotten in
> to them because he said the fast acting antibiotics should have
helped him
> if it was just an infection that it looked more like something toxic
> destroyed his kidneys. There is nothing, I keep nothing poisonous
around the
> house as part of my ferret-proofing. Can you give me some help as
to what
> could have killed a healthy ferret in a few hours?

Dear Laurel -

I am sorry for your loss. In this case, I would have to recommend a
review of the bloodwork and urine tests and if a necropsy has not
been performed, that one should be performed ASAP. There is just
something in the story that does not add up, although I cannot put my
finger on it. Perhaps it is that a healthy ferret could develop a
life-threatening kindey infection so quickly - this is not my usual

This is not to say that the vet did anything at all incorrect, but
that as we do have a deceased ferret, all information will need to be
examined carefully to keep from jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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