Message Number: YG2526 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Diane K
Date: 2001-04-13 13:12:00 UTC
Subject: Re: HELP

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., jamesadamlavin@y... wrote:
> our 6.25 year old female ferret stopped eating several days ago,
> feces is tar like and under examination contains blood, she has
> 25% of her body weight. she can hardly walk.
> she has zero appetite, weare force feeding her a solution of
> disolved in water. she is being given .25 ml of antibiotics, and
> today we put her on prednizone.
> what are we to do. i have two ferrets now, and we had another that
> past away at age 6.5 yrs. has anyone seen a ferret that has lived
> past 7 yrs????
> exploratory surgery??? i have yet to meet a vet that has any clue
> all, (there was a guy in waere, nh that was pritty good) but thats
> long trip from new york.

I would also like to add that I am NOT a vet, but from what you have
described it is possible that your ferret could have ulcers. Black,
tarry stool is one symptom of ulcers. Sometimes ferrets will grind
their teeth when ulcers are present. Carafate is often used to treat
ulcers, but is available only by prescription.

You mention that your ferret has started a regime of antibiotics and
prednisone. Is the pred prescribed to help increase appetite or for
some other medical treatment? Pred is known to increase appetite.
Perhaps you would like to try a "duck soup" for your ferret. Soak
regular ferret kibble in water until very soft. Add a few jars of
Stage 2 Gerber Chicken & Gravy baby food. If there is no insolinoma
present in your ferret, add some vanilla flavor High Protein Boost
(formerly known as Sustacal) to the soup mixture. Adding plain (non-
flavored) Pedialyte is sometimes recommended by vets for ferrets that
have stopped eating. After mixing this all together, place in a
blender and blend very well to a soupy consistency. Add more water
as needed. You can also freeze this mixture in ice cube trays and
thaw out as needed for future feedings. Microwave the soup until
warm. Offer about 15 to 20 cc from a syringe at a time. This may
encourage your ferret to eat. You can also add the Nutrical to the

As for ferrets living past 7 yrs. I have a female ferret that turned
10 yrs. old last month. We are helping to keep her comfortable, as
she suffers from insolinoma. She basically lives on duck soup now
and still will eat her kibble. She is on pred also to treat the
insolinoma medically, as I do not feel it would benefit her to have
surgery at her age.

I can understand your frustration in locating a ferret-knowledgeable
vet. I also have pounded the pavement in my area in my search.
Continue to call various vets and ask questions regarding their
experience with ferrets. Don't give up. Good luck.