Message Number: YG2775 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-19 21:07:00 UTC
Subject: Re: blindness in ferrets

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Sue" <mzfuzzie@y...> wrote:
> First it was Jonesy and his surgery and almost dying on me. Now it
> is his brother Fiesty. I believe he has cataracts now. White
> film over both eyes. He is running into things. Walks the
> now and the door jams will "jump out and get him". I can really
> scare him badly if I don't touch him with a firm touch. Scares
> if I talk to him as I reach. Suppose this means deafness too? Is
> there ANY information anyone can give me on blindness and deafness
> ferrets? Any suggestions of where I can go to read anything and
> everything about this?

Dear Sue -

Deafness can be a dificult thing to prove in ferrts - you don't
mention what color Fiesty is - deafnes is most commonly seen in
albino or color diluted varieties.

Now the blindness is something different entirely. Cataracts present
as a white opacity within the pupil, not a milky film over the eye.
A milky film over the eye is more suggestive of either a corneal
problem, inflammation within the eyeball, or perhaps glaucoma.
Unfortunately, without more information in the form of a more
complete description of what you are seeing, or better yet, a
photograph showing the eye's close up, I may not be able to shed a
lot more light on this problem. However, another possibility is that
the milky film is not the problem, but that there may be retinal
degeneration, a fairly common finding in older ferrets.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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