Message Number: YG3853 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-05-21 08:44:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Zues


You wrote:
> Zeus went from a 2.1 lb wiry ferret to 513 grams (1.1 lb). It started in
> April. He has had two trips to the vet. He has been on Clavamox pills,
> then Clavamox liquid and High-Cal. He had a barium x-ray and everything was
> fine.
What were his bloodwork results? I've done many a barium xray that
looked fine - and took a hairball out of the same ferret that week.

> After the two visits, I read on the lists that some ferrets can lose up to a
> pound seasonally. But there are other subtle changes; he has always been
> the most fastest energetic ferret. I could never hold him for a second.
> Now he sits in my arms. He lets me clean his ears with no resistance at
> all. He sleeps a lot more and has less energy. He was my plexi-glass
> jumper. He splashed water out of every ferret and cat water bowl. He isn't
> running, jumping, splashing, or playing with the others.
> I have seen no seizures, no hind end weakness. I have separated him from
> the others and am going to monitor his poop. He was in a room with several
> other ferrets, and I've never seen anything weird/unusual. I have noticed
> that when he pees, it's very little.
> The only different things to have happened are 1) he had an abscessed tooth
> removed in December (and has been fine with no problems); and 2) a mate died
> this past month (however, I have several ferrets, so I don't know how much
> the death may contribute towards mourning/depression?).
> Tonight I was feeding him chicken baby food, which he eats. I heard him
> grind his teeth, and about halfway thru he went a little beserk rubbing his
> face on the carpet. I checked his teeth/mouth and see no signs of
> infection, but there is a lot of tartar build-up.
> I found this in the archives: Tooth grinding is a sign of abdominal pain,
> and gastric ulcers are by far the most common cause. Not all ulcers result
> in total anorexia, but they may. It seems as if it might have been worse
> back in March, but many ulcers do tend to wax and wane.
> Do I just keep feeding him baby food and monitor his output, or is there
> some other test I can take him to my vet for? He is extremely bony, so I
> don't know if getting blood is possible? Oh, and he is eating. I see him
> eat the regular dry food.
At least check his blood glucose.

> I don't know how much weight for him to lose before it is alarming. If
> losing a pound for seasonal reasons is normal, then he's "normal". He has
> NEVER been this thin before, nor had seasonal weight loss.

I'm much more concerned about the behavioral changes than the
weight loss. Grief can lead to inappetance, continue tempting this
guy to eat.

Please keep us posted, I need to get back to my AFA presentation
before Freddie has a stroke waiting for all our papers! :-)

-Dr. Karen

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