Message Number: YG2480 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-11 18:23:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Enlarged Heart

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "SAM MANGHAM" <ICEELR@i...> wrote:
> Hi,
> My 4 year old ferret has now developed heart disease. Over a 3
month period
> and 2 sets of radiographs, the left side of her heart is increasing
in size.
> One vet has put her on lasix 2 weeks ago and another vet I
> yesterday said treatment after a week with lasix alone tends to
hold on to
> the water in the body and that you use another drug with it. He
also said
> this does not address the heart disease problem. He said there are
> meds for this. The first vet did not mention this. She seems
> after walking and flops down on the floor. She has been thru so
much just
> this year with right adrenal gland removed (takes Lupron), gastric
> helicobacter, bronchitis. I can't believe she now has heart
problems. If
> anyone has any info on heart disease, treatment and what the
prognosis is, I
> would appreciate it. Also, if there is a web site or anything I
could read
> about it would be great.

Sam - you should check the archives of the FHL on "cardiomyopathy" -
and you can also check out Ferret Central and Mike Janke's site at for information on heart disease.

In response to your question, Lasix is a diuretic, which expels
excess water in the body by filtering it through the kidneys.
However, there are additional medications that are useful in treating
heart disease, such as digitalis (which strengthens the contractions
of the heart) and enalapril, which works as a vasodilator, helping to
relieve some of the stress on the heart. It is difficult to say
which are the most appropriate in this case, but all should be
considered, and in most cases of heart disease, will all eventually
be required to stop the progression of this disease. Remember, heart
disease is never cured - all that we can do is stop, or slow it's

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM