From: Lynn Siegel
Date: 2001-05-01 02:10:00 UTC
Subject: Ferret crashing, intestines all on right side of body.
I have a ferret here approximately 6 years old, according to last person
that had him & his teeth.
When he came here he was having diarrhea. At first I thought it was due to
stress of moving him. It continued so I asked about it & was told that it
would come & go. I gave him a tiny bit of Imodium AD & it did seem to help
a bit. Then it continued. He was eating really good & drinking just fine.
In fact I thought he may be drinking a little too much but thinking about
it, maybe he was trying to keep his body replenished with fluid.
On Saturday morning after I was up for awhile I realized I hadn't seen him.
I checked his hidey hole & he was sleeping. A little later I realized I
still hadn't seen him out eating or drinking & that was unusual. It was
time to do a rotation & I put all of this one group in carriers to go
outside in the pen for awhile. I put him in his cage so I could watch him a
little better. When it was time to bring his group in I saw that he hadn't
really moved from where I had put him, so knew it was time for a trip to the
vet. Being Saturday they are only open until noon & we made it in time.
His temp was low at 98.9. The tech couldn't get a fecal sample, it just
wasn't there. He weighed 3.55, which on some it may be ok but this guy is
obese. It isn't a firm fat, it is a sloppy fat. Mushy. Upon examination
the vet said that something felt odd. After the exam he told me I had
options of either putting him to sleep or taking an x-ray & doing blood work
to try & find out what was going on. There was no way that I was having him
put to sleep without at least finding out more. Blood work showed that he
had a low protein level & a high lipose level. Other readings were in the
normal range & I can supply anyone with the complete readings if needed.
The x-ray was shocking. All of his intestines are on the right side of his
body. His spleen is ok. His heart appears ok. Either his bladder or liver
is shaped a little odd but the vet said it wasn't anything to worry about
now. There was a shadow of something on the left side but it wasn't clear
so he couldn't determine what it was, but it was large. The left side is
also full of what he thinks is fat.
Because we were already way past their closing time & it was advised that he
spend the weekend in emergency care at the emergency clinic. We took him
there & he was placed in an incubator, put on an IV for fluids, given meds
for the diarrhea & his tummy plus antibiotics. The vet there has 2 ferrets
of his own so that was good. Sunday evening the vet said that he had
"turned the corner" & was doing better. He was eating a mix of baby food &
A/D. Yesterday morning he was taken back to my vet, (actually his partner,
mine won't be back until next Monday) to see if he could come home. & it was
determined that he could.
He is to get 1.5cc of Pepto Bismol, 0.5cc Metronidazole & 0.3cc Amoxi 2
times a day for 14 days. Plus he is to have Eukanuba Veterinary Diets
Nutritional Intestinal Formula "Low-Residue Adult" food. I had asked about
A/D since he had been on it another time & also at the emergency hospital
but the vet said that it was "high residue" which wasn't good for his
diarrhea. I guess that goes through too quickly?
I was told before taking him to the emergency hospital that if he didn't
respond to the treatment the next step was surgery. Well he stopped eating
last night. All I can get him to take is a few licks off my fingers. I
have just tried to syringe feed him & he only took about .30cc's of that. I
wasn't sure what I could mix in it that wouldn't affect his diarrhea or his
weight. I did mix a little "broth" from the chicken I made for the others
plus some Nupro. If anyone can offer advice on how to get him eating, what
he should eat, if this low residue stuff is ok or if A/D is ok, what I could
mix to temp him that won't add to the problems & I guess also if there are
any ideas about all of his intestines being "pushed" on one side of his
body. Has anyone seen this before & do you know what caused it? Does fat
inside the body look the same as say fluid on an x-ray? Is there something
that can be tried other than surgery? I would feel much more comfortable if
my vet were here but since he isn't I am turning to other ferret experts.
You can either post here or email me privately.
Lynn & Clan War Weasels