From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-04-11 20:19:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Enlarged Heart
>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 consulted
>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 different
>meds for this. The first vet did not mention this. She seems exhausted
>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 ulcers,
>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, I know that at least several of us here have been through
cardiomyopathy with our ferrets, and that the vets here are certainly
full of information, plus at least one FHL vet knows what it is like
to experience it from both the professional and client sides. A lot
of people here can help you.
You'll want to read some of the heart information at
http://www.miamiferret.org/fhc . The search engine there is
The meds we have found useful include: Lasix (Furosemide) which
reduces the fluid build-up caused by poor heart function, Enacard,
and Digoxin, and it may be that Co-enzyme 10-Q -- used in conjunction
with the others -- may have helped in a quality of life fashion for
one of our's.
Unlike with humans with some heart conditions, the salt, fat, and
cholesterol consumed seem to make no difference.
It is important to reduce stress for the individual as much as
possible, though not to the point reducing pleasure or of stopping
meds (since those medications preserve both quality and quantity of
We have had three with cardiomyopathy; one died of a different
simultaneous health problem; the other two lived past their projected
survival time-frames, though one not as dramatically as a few of
which we've read.
Cardiomyopathy is a roller coaster, but with appropriate care it is
not as bad or immediate a threat as one would expect before learning
more about it in ferrets.