Message Number: YG2287 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-06 14:21:00 UTC
Subject: Re: AIHA

> thank you, dr. christman. i find this last paragraph most
> interesting. while many of my critters will do a little dance to
> beguile me into giving them a piece of fruit or veggie that i might
> be snacking on, i just can't recall snacking on or sharing an onion
> or garlic with any of my critters. i'll have to look into that
> possibility. would you have any direct data on the onion family and
> ferrets? as for the meds, i forgot to mention that both critters
> were definately not on any meds. could there be a delayed reaction
> to a medication they might have been taking - perhaps they were on a
> medication with the original owner, only to have trouble 3 months
> after going off with the new owner? as for the moldy food, while
> sure that both critters were silly enough to try to push the food
> dish under the water spigot from time to time, their dad was quite
> good about keeping their areas tidy - but of course i'll ask him
> about this possibility. and again, could there be a delay of 3
> months if they were accustomed to moldy food with the former owner?
> unfortunately this was a situation that took place last year which
> took the lives of both critters with lightening speed (from just
> to dead within 36 hours). the vet of mine that attempted to puzzle
> out what was going on with the second one only (the first had been
> another vet) mentioned that ingestion of antifreeze in a dog could
> cause trouble up to 3 months later... that was the only thing he
> could think of. thx again!

Sorry, I don't know where ferrets fit in on the whole onion family
toxicity concerns. I have heard that cats are more sensttive than
dogs. Also we are talking about a small animal, so what may be an
alright dosage in a dog, may be troublesome for a two pound ferret.
Other members of the family are the lillies and
some of them can be very toxic. One of the biggest problems with any
animal affected by a toxicity is that they can be hard to find. The
plant particles may already be digested and not recognizable, and it
is impossible to watch some animals every second of the day. Even
though a pet never touched that plant before, one day it may just
decided to try a bite. Also, who knows what they may find under the

As for antifreeze, usually we see effects more quickly that three
months, but this depends on dosage. A tablespoon of antifreeze can
kill a cat by causing acute kidney failure. My aunt lost a cat she
thinks may have gotten into a snowglobe. Cause of death was oxalate
crystals in the kidneys - what antifreeze will do. Also there are
some common houseplants that will cause similar effects - philodendrons
are one. With acute kidney failure you won't see anemia, but with
chronic kidney failure you will. That's the importance to looking at
the whole picture and not just a blood count.

Carla Christman, DVM