Message Number: YG3365 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-08 14:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: (no subject)

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., cjbandit@a... wrote:
> Hi Everyone
> Attention: Dr. Williams
> This was mentioned in an earlier post and it was suggested that I
> bloodwork run on Bandit to see how his kidneys are functioning.
What specific
> things in the blood do they look at to see if the kidneys are
> normally??
> and what are normal values for these particular things??

While normal values may vary between labs, all reports include the
normal values for the lab. The levels of phosphorus, nitrogen
(given as Blood urea nitrogen), and creatinine are all important, as
these compounds generally are excreted by the kidney, and elevated
levels suggest problems in the kidney. Calcium may be elevated in
some cases, but that is pretty rare in ferrets.

> Dr. Williams suggested a urinalysis as well but I'm not sure my vet
knows how
> to do that in the past she could not get a tube up the urethra. Is
> what's involved, could you please explain the procedure to me?

In the case of evaluation for renal failure, obtaining urine from a
free catch off the exam table, or in an empty, dry, clean litter box
is probably acceptable, as the concentration of the urine is probably
the most important aspect. Catheterization probably does not offer
significant advantages. A third method, cystocentesis involves
inserting a needle into the bladder through the abdominal wall and
removing urine that way. Cystocentesis, because it takes the urine
from the bladder, is best used when evaluating for urinary tract
infections, as the other methods introduce bacteria into the sample
from the vagina or prepuce, or the exam table.
> Lastly, could this bad breath thing be an ulcer acting up?

Unforatunately, can't tell from here. Ulcers are usually diagnosed
by grinding teeth or dark tarry stools. I generally don't consider
bad breath a sign of ulcers, as ferret breath, like human breath, can
be extremely variable.

>Dr. Williams
> would you suggest Pepcid A/C and if so how much could I suspend it
in water??

Without a clue on the presence of an ulcer, I can't recommend just
giving Pepcid A/C, especially to an older ferret which may have other
GI problems, which may be compounded by the change in gastric pH. I
think in this case, you should confer with your vet. To dose this
drug, if your vet approves, crush a 10mg tablet and add to 10ml of
water, and give .25-.30ml once or twice a day.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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