Message Number: YG2351 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-04-08 08:23:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Ferret still grinding-2nd posting

You wrote:

> BJ is a 4 year old gib, not descented. Had IBD for many months and did not
> respond to any antibiotics or even pred. When he stopped eating and dropped
> weight, my vet took him for a couple days, gave him one injection of a
> steroid and got him to eat again by offering him Friskies Kitten. My vet said
> some ferrets simple cannot handle the richness of TF and premium kitten
> foods. His stools have shaped up nicely and he put the weight back on.
> However, he started grinding his teeth when eating. I put him on the ulcer
> protocol of Carafate, Amoxi and Biaxin. After 17 days it hadn't made any
> difference and my syringes were frustrating me(sudden stops and starts), so I
> gave up on it. He never had black, tarry stools, so I'm not sure it ever
> was ulcers or helicobacter. He has very large bowel movements...almost cat
> sized..1/2 inch in diameter. Could this still be a problem with the
> intestine? Or is the larger size of the stool because of all the corn in his
> diet?

Large bowel movements are pretty common with kitten chows. Have
you ever put him on a protein exclusion diet? I still have pretty
good responses in these guys by switching to a NON-chicken diet (I
use turkey).

His stools have always been larger than my other guys who are
> descented. Does descenting restrict the diameter of the stool at all?
> My vet wants to do a barium x-ray to check for a floating hairball. I
> understand that they only show something 10 % of the time. What should I do?

The only benefit I see to barium is that it occasionally soothes
the intestine as it goes through, and seems to calm things down. I
certainly don't trust it for diagnostics. You might seriously
consider exploratory surgery to get some real answers at this point.
Biopsies of the stomach and intestines would give the most
information with these signs.
Hope this helps,
-Dr. Karen
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