Message Number: YG424 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-02-28 19:02:00 UTC
Subject: Re: mystery ailment

Dear Diana:

Cardiomyopathy is at the top of the list with an enlarged right heart
and an elevated LDH (although LDH is fairly non-specific, it can be
an indicator of muscle damage, including cardiac muscle). It can
also be seen in erthrocyte destruction and you do mention anemia.

Using the term anemia, however, is not adequate for diagnosis in this
case. When reporting blood results, the degree of anemia is
important, and there is no replacement for the numerical value. 40
is good, 32 can be due to chronic disease, 25 might be hemolysis, 12
needs a transfusion, 6 needs a shoebox, etc. (let's not take all of
that literally, but it shows that anemia comes in all levels and
severity, and we need to know specifics.

The levels of WBC inidicates with infectious, severe inflammatory
disease, or could (rarely) indicated leukemia. It is very helpful to
know the distribution of the various types of white blood cells -
different disease have different patterns of ditribution. Infectious
disease would be primarily neutrophils, leukemia would be almost all

Low albumin is easy - this is a common finding in ferret - it usually
indicates chronic inflammatory disease of the bowel - but is usually
not clinical significant. A number value would help, though!

Don't feel bad about not knowing to be more specific with the clin
path values - most people don't! This just happens to be a good case
to use as an example for the importance of specific information.

Cardiomyopathy is at the top of the list here, but more specific
information is necessary.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM
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--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Diana Ashton" <pooh1999@g...> wrote:
> Subject: Mystery ailment
> I posted about a friends ferret the other day named Abbey. Well
she went
> in yesterday for more tests. She is still eating and drinking and
> to play but her rear end is not cooperating. She is still pulling
> along behind her.
> This is what the vet came up with.
> 1. She has a significantly enlarged heart, specifically the right
> 2. Her bladder is enlarged and it spears that she is not urinating
> enough however no infection was present. The vet said it might be
> because she cannot get her hind end up high enough.
> 3. She is anemic.
> 4. Low potassium
> 5. She has en elevated LDH enzyme. IT was at 1800.
> 6. Chronic elevation of white blood cells ct. It was at 10.8000 6
> ago and is now 12.1000
> 7. Low elbumin in the blood.
> The vet is primarily thinking cardiomyapathy, but as a second guess
> might be ADV. Abbey's owner does not feel with her work schedule
that sh
> ecan properly care for her and would like to release her to me but
> to help with the vet bills that are a for sure. Obviously I would
like to
> have the ADV test done since I have 23 other ferrets in the shelter
so she
> is checking into the costs bit she is trying to find 1 thing and a
> of things that might tie all of these symptins together.
> Any ideas out there?
> Diana and The Ferret Farm