Message Number: YG2201 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-04 22:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Pyometra, question for vet

Dear Marie - I hate to overly alarm you, but I think you have a potential
emergency on your hands! A two inch palpable mass in a uterine horn at 2
weeks gestation with a greenish discharge from the vulva does indicate an
infection of the uterus - pyometra. However, the mass concerns me. Also
her age and status of never haven been bred before. Even though she is not
febrile at this point, I think you are dealing with a possible necrotic
infection of the horn - or even a tumor.
At five years of age, I think you should have an emergency spay right away.
At five she is considered by most to be in her geriatric years and too old to

Although i have not yet had a pyometra, cross my fingers, in my breeding
jills, I have nursed infected jills through it for friends and have helped
friends treat and clear the infection in their jills. Although many swear by
lutalyse (sp), I have never used it - worried about side effects. I have
found it is more important to keep the vulva open. This can be accomplsihed
by using a Q-tip dipped in Betadine and swirled (not too deep) in the vulva.
This keeps the vulva open for draining and should be done several times a
day. Followed by hot compresses or running under very warm water and
"milking down" to move the infection out. Also, IMHO, Terramycin is not the
best choice antibiotic for ferrets. With a pyometra infection, which can be
a tenacious, I double whammy with injectible Baytril and oral Clavamox. I
give these two antibiotic on rote - Clavamox and 6 hours later Baytril, and 6
hous again Clavamox and so on. So far, every jill I have helped has
completely recovered and have had other litters - except one who has not been
re-bred yet. I am not a vet. The above advice goes into their area of
expertise....but it works and it is also the treatment now used by my vets.
BTW, treatment of any serious infection at home without a visit to vet is
never a good idea. Please let the FHL know what happens with your girl and
how she does. Best regards, Meg

In a message dated 4/4/01 6:53:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
mariebartholdsson@h... writes:

<< I have a five years old, intact jill. She has not been bred before,
but four weeks ago I tried to breed her to one of my hobs without
much success. He seemed to be dragging her around most of the time
when I checked them, and I don't think they actually mated. It was a
bit early in the year for the hob, because he lives outdoors.

Two weeks later I palpated a longish mass in the jill's abdomen, on
the left side. It continued to grow during the following week to
it's current size, about 2 inches long. It could be an enlarge
uterine horn. The right side of the abdomen feels fine, and she has
no other symptoms. She eats a lot and has calmed down, sleeps most of
the day, but that is normal if she is pregnant or pseudopregnant. She
doesn't drink more than usual, poop and urine is fine. Temperature is
normal. At two occasions I have noticed a slight, greenish discharge
from the vulva. The vulva is also still a bit larger than I would
expect it to be at this point.

Today I took the jill to the vet. Despite both an X-ray and an
ultrasound the vet wasn't able to tell for sure if the uterus is
enlarged or not. She couldn't see any fetuses, although she said they
wouldn't show on an X-ray until the last week of the pregnancy. She
did see something on the ultrasound, a round, black, diffuse object,
about half an inch, which she couldn't identify. She also did a urine
test, and it was ok. Her diagnose was probable pyometra.

The jill is now on Terramycin three times daily, but I'm worried this
treatment won't be enough. Is there anything else that could be done?
Can you give prostaglandins to ferrets?
I don't know if this is an open or closed pyometra (or even if it is
pyometra at all).
I know the chances of this jill having a litter later this year
aren't very good considering her age and the possible infection, but
I would very much like to try and breed her again. But I will rather
have her spayed than risking her life.

I will appreciate any suggestions and ideas as to what this might be,
and what I should do about it.