Date: 2001-05-10 23:24:00 UTC
Subject: Benadryl Question
Okay. I am frustrated about the recommendation of Benadryl
being tossed around by laymen like water. This is a post I
wrote on my feelings of the subject and would like some input
----It has become common, anytime someone mentions sneezing,
coughing, itching etc... everyone yells "Benadryl" and starts
giving directions, dosages etc. I know one person who has been
giving her ferret Benadryl daily for the past 6 months,
because "without it, he sneezes".
Yes, it is a good idea to have Benadryl handy for emergency
short term relief, but I feel more emphasis needs to be put on
"short term relief". If your ferret is coughing, sneezing,
itching, scratching, he may be coming down with a cold or
respiratory infection or he may have an allergy to something.
In my opinion, the solution is to find out what is causing the
symptoms and take care of it, not mask it.
Yes give him some relief but then start checking the common
allergens; laundry soap, dryer sheets (which I don't feel you
should be using on ferret laundry to start with), litter, dust
from litter or foods, air fresheners etc.
Watch for signs, listen to their breathing for wheezing or
congestion. A ferrets cold or respiratory infection is similar
to ours, look for the same symptoms; cough, sneezing, runny
nose, fever, lethargic, not wanting to eat or drink etc.
It is vital to TREAT colds, flu's and respiratory infections,
these guys are so small that when they don't want to eat or
drink you could have a critical situation within 24-36 hours.
Allergies also might stop them from eating, if you have
checked the sources above and there is still a problem, then
you need to see your vet to possibly help determine an
Ferrets can have some of the same allergies we have such as
dust, pollen, mold, ragweed etc.... There are some cases where
ferrets have actually developed an allergy to their kibble and
must have special diets!
Use Benadryl for temporary relief of symptoms to help your
ferret feel better but in the meantime, work to determine the
cause and cure it rather than keeping him doped up. This may
include taking them off the Benadryl after a change to see if
the reaction is still occurring. It is impossible to determine
if the ferret is still having complications if they are full
of a drug to suppress the symptoms!!
That's my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.