Message Number: YG3885 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-05-22 15:30:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Query about strokes

>Do strokes in small animals, including ferrets, resemble strokes in humans?
> "Weezul1" posted a query about an elderly ferret and it sure sounded like
>what our elderly rat did (falling to one side, confusion, difficulty moving

Well, Bruce Williams has pointed out that he hasn't seen any true
strokes in ferrets. Don't know if he has since then, but that would
have been last year or the one before that he told me that. What ARE
known to happen in ferret are thromboses from thrown clots that can
lodge in the brain. Those can happen for several reasons with things
like heart or kidney disease being ones we personally have

Yes, these DO present just as the person described. They can also
present with loss of consciousness. We have seen circling,
confusion, head turning, temporary loss of one side of the body,
temporary loss of a limb, sensory deprivation, protracted
unconsciousness, etc. I think that we tend to think of "stroke"
because that is what people more commonly have; but different species
may have similar symptoms from different things due to the same organ
being challenged (in this case the brain).

In most cases we have found that with careful care the two we had who
went through thromboses recovered very well (except when one elderly
sick one threw one to a kidney one day and one to her brain 12 hours
later and neither dissolved in a safe time frame), but it is hard at
the beginning (and they may not make it then), some PT may be needed,
and it's essential that they get all of the supportive care needed,
and then afterward that their heart, kidneys, etc. are checked so
that the underlying disease that caused a clot to be thrown can be
most effectively treated. In the one with heart disease she needed
multiple meds with Digoxin being an absolute essential. It is also
very important to keep such a ferret away from anything that can
badly affect compressions, blood-pressure, etc.; nothing with
licorice, nothing with caffeine, no chocolate, etc.

As I have said, in 19 years we've had two who have done this and it
usually has turned out okay with care.