From: Kris McDevitt
Date: 2001-04-19 20:22:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: What's Chloramphenicol?
Dr. Williams or anyone else with information,
Spike, my 11 month old male MF albino, has had runny stool very ofter since
I got him at 8 weeks of age. On Christmas Day he started vomitting, running
around, and then trying to go to the bathroom without results over and over
again. He finally managed to go but only red, bloody, mucous came out and
then he just seemed to collapse. I rushed him to the only 24 hour emergency
hospital around that took ferrets about 1/2 hour away.
By the time we got there he was awake and acting normal. I gave them the
baby jar with the bloody mucous, told them what happened and ended up
leaving him over night for observation. The gave him fluids for
dehydration, ran blood work, and took x-rays. Everything came back normal
and they released him the next day saying he probably ate something he
shouldn't have but no blockage was found.
I took him to my normal vet who examined him, took a stool sample (no
parasites), and sent him home with the same diagnosis, but gave me
ammoxicillian just as a precaution.
On January 30th the same thing happened while I was at work. I came home to
find blood and mucous all over the cage, but Spike acting fine so I'm not
sure when in those 8 hours it had happened. I called the vet, but she was
out of town and by the time she called me back everything seemed fine. She
told me to bring him in for more tests if it happened again.
It repeated 2 more times within a few days, so I made an appt. and took him
in the first opening she had. She did bloodwork and tried to get x-rays but
Spike wouldn't settle down for it and she didn't want to sedate him for that
or exploratory surgury until she got the blood work back.
She said it looked like he had proliferative coloitis and sent me to the
only pharmacy around she knew of that carried chloramphenical and who would
mix it for ferrets. Two days later she called saying the blood work was not
good. His lymphocites (sp?) were very high and his blood sugar was low (I
am trying to get a copy of the results).
She told me to bring Spike back the next day for a shot of Ivermectin which
has to be repeated next week, saying she was also going to treat him for
enteritis as suggested by a specialist she had spoken to. She said to
finishthe 21 days of chloramphenical and then bring him back for repeat
She ended by saying that if him lymphocite (sp?) count was still high she
would have to say he really had lymphosarcoma, with the tumor most likely in
I really like my vet, but I want another opinion and more information. I
bought 2 other male kits along with Spike and 1 (Angel) ended up dying of
juvenile lymphosarcoma in February without showing any symptoms until it was
too late (tumor was in the chest against heart and lungs). Spike had his
problems before that and he was the one I worried about.
What I want to know is if juvenile lymphosarcoma, enteritis, and
proliferative colitis are contageous, what causes it, or are they born with
it (Doyle the third baby seems healthy but is having blood work just incase
when Spike goes back)? I also want to know if the chloramphenical and
Ivermectin are OK for Spike if he doesn't have any of these diseases? He
really seems his normal, crazy self except for the diarrhea.
Sorry this is so long!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 8:10 PM
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., AFERRETVET@c... wrote:
> > Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic.
> > It is used mostly for colitis in ferrets.
> > Jerry Murray, DVM
> I'l go one step further. CHPC is a bacteriostatic antibiotic which
> is fairly difficult to get ahold of these days, due to problems which
> it can cause in humans.
> The only indeication for CHPC in ferrets is the disease proliferative
> colitis, a rare, sporadic disease of yound male ferrets.
> Proliferative colitis is better diagnosed by biopsy than by empiric
> trial with CHPC. Using CHPC for any other disease in this species is
> fairly useless.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce Williams, dVM
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