Message Number: YG4756 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-22 01:25:00 UTC
Subject: Re: ECE in 2 3 year old males

Dear Jeremy:

While it is not totally clear to me that these two animals indeed have ECE,
let us proceed along those lines. The diet that you have followed is good,
however, Pedialyte is of benefit only in acute stages, and giving it to
chronically infected animal is likely of little use. Animals who have
passed through the watery, dehydrating phase are likely to do better on
water alone.

You do not mention the time period which they were on baby food alone. I
generally recommend that ferrets are removed from kibble for a minimum of
thirty days. During this time, they are generally well nourished with the
baby food. Kibbleis very difficult for the coronavirus-injured intestine to
digest and absorb, as both the digestion and absorption functions become
deranged as a reulst of viral infection oand loss of large amounts of
superficial intestinal epithelium.

It may simply be that the introduction ofthe MF food occurred a bit too
quick and this has caused their progress to arrest. I prefer about 60cc of
water per day per individual and a feeding about every four hours. The best
way to tell if you are feeding them and hydrating them well is to monitor
weight and activity. If they are lethargic and continue to drop weight,
then we need to redouble our efforts.

For normal healthy young ferrets - a 2-3 week course of the disease is the
norm. Older animals with concurrent disease take significantly longer to

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM

----- Original Message -----

> Hello Dr. Williams!
> A local humane society took in 2 3 year old male ferrets recently. I
> in and picked them up because they had no idea how to care for them. About
> 48 hours after arrival they both presented with the symptoms of ECE. I was
> seeing the "Green Slimes" and their general failure to thrive. Over the
> course of the past three weeks, I have followed the advice on your website
> and began hydrating and feeding them manually. I have been using Gerber's
> 2nd Stage Chicken food along with 10 mL of Pedialyte 4-5x per day. They
> seemed to be getting better and seemed interested in eating and drinking
> their own. We reintroduced their MF food and they seemed to be doing "ok".
> We seem to be stuck in a rut now, as they don't often eat the MF food and
> have not seen a consistent (solid) BM in over a week and a half now. We
> continuing the Baby Food and Fluids about 2-3 times per day now.
> Is this normal in ECE cases, the "stale" runs of what seems to be no
> improvement? How long does ECE take to run its course? How long should I
> continue to hydrate and feed then? Am I hydrating them and feeding them
> enough?
> We haven't taken them to a vet since their initial inspection but if you
> feel that is our next step then they are on their way! :)>