Message Number: YG3686 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Stewart
Date: 2001-05-17 15:08:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Marlow's vet visit, he has heartworms - RE: New Rescues

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>

Hi Dr. Williams,

I would like to thank you for responding to my post. We are
currently trying to find as much information as possible for treating
Marlow. Several people recommended contacting Dr. Kemmerer in
Florida to get her advice, so we called her today and left our
contact info on her answering service. Marlow has a follow up
scheduled for next Thursday. Our vet is very knowledgable about
ferrets, but is not confident about the treatment of heartworms in
ferrets because of the difficultly in keeping them inactive during
recovery. He feels that with the treatment of prednisone and
filarial prophilaxis (spelling?) Marlow would live for about a year
if we are lucky. I plan to ask for an ultrasound so that his worm
burden can be assessed and we can make a decision about treatment.

Again, thank you very much, I greatly appreciate your reponse.


> Dear Stewart:
> This is always a difficult situation, and it often depends on the
> numbers of worms in the heart. The presence of worms interferes
> the function of the valves in the heart, and precipitates heart
> failure - the more worms, the faster the process.
> But treatment of the adults in the heart is not without risk
itself -
> up to 50% of ferrets may die as a result of an inability to keep
> quiet after you kill the adult worms.
> The path that you are taking will prevent additional worms from
> developing and your other ferrets from getting heartworms via
> mosquitoes who have fed on this particular ferret, but you may run
> into problems if the number of heartworms is significant.
> may help in the hands of an experienced vet in enumerating how many
> worms are in the heart.
> This is not a situation in which I or any vet other than the one
> has all the information (your vet) can assist you in making this
> difficult decision.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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