Message Number: YG4929 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-06-27 13:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ferret ate bedding and died

perhaps i missed a post, but i think the replys to your message have
questioned politely and been downright helpful. m. janke asked the
question that immediately came to my mind: why wasn't surgery an
option? your first post...

I had 3 ferrets. My youngest got very sick over the weekend. Final
diagnose (from an xray) was that he ingested something and had a
blockage. There were no options but to have him put down. He was
only 3 years old.

...tells us absolutely nothing about the why's and wherefore's of the
situation. your post below clearly described the situation. instead
of the obvious request for more information initially, folks did
reply and one even wrote a detailed message all about proper bedding
and so forth. perhaps you're jumping the gun because you're upset,
which i can understand. but don't dismiss proper questioning into
the circumstances, since such is part of what this list is good for.
far too many of us are aware how few ferrets see qualified vets
around this country (and canada too!). the question as to why
surgery wasn't an option is a gentle way to let you know that it
should have been considered; a fact you might not have been aware of
depending on your vet's experience. your second post describes why
it wasn't done; i don't see anything in any of these messages that
suggests your ferrets are abused or neglected. i had one ferret who
ate fabric of any type, paper, cardboard, just about anything she
could munch on. she wasn't caged, had many friends and lots of
socialization, so cage-kept-boredom was not the cause of her
insatiable munchies. i can't tell you why they do it, nor can i tell
you why sophie never got a blockage and your critter did. the advise
you received about proper bedding and tricks on chewing is sound and
it's should serve as a refresher course to all of us. my rule on
bedding: when it gets a chew spot, pitch it. i would also suggest
flat cotton pieces instead of, for example, the sherpa - which i
think can be munched on for some time before becoming apparent to the
human eye. keep the hairball goo going and watch the critters
carefully, but in the end sometimes accidents happen. it sounds like
you did all you could for this critter. while i think it's
unfortunate you may be learning at the wrong end of this situation
all about surgery for blockage, it is important that you do learn all
you can - you will be a better ferret parent for it. not all vets
are comfortable doing surgery on ferrets, but because so many will
have a surgery in their life time i do think it's important to
establish a relationship with a vet who's familiar/comfortable wiht
the complete range of ferret care. of course you will always have
situations that stump your vet; why, that's a large portion of this
list! doctors, have you seen anything like this? :) but in the
normal course of life, blockage surgery, adrenal surgery and so
forth...surgical skills are important in a ferret vet. i can't
recommend one in ontario, but since you're only about 5 hours from me
i'll tell you to stick my e-mail somewhere for the future if you need
it, as i have a fantastic vet here in detroit that takes care of all
the critters who pass through my shelter through the year. cryo
surgery even! point is, you *may* be feeling guilty (as i always do
when i lose a baby - no matter the circumstance) but don't read the
messages you've received negatively, since i've seen no suggestion of
poor care on your part. this list has been very positive and,
speaking only for myself, VERY helpful and informative. people will
always question what kind of vet care you're seeking since so often
the owner is the last to know that the vet really doesn't know what's
going on! :) fortunately we're among the "plugged in" and now have
access to all these great vets!

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., michelle@l... wrote:
> The reason surgery was not an option was because the vet advised me
> that. Tuggy was having convulsions and they did not believe that
> would make it through the antisteic or the surgery.
> Tuggy was fine on Saturday morning. When I went in to fill up
> food dish Saturday night he wouldn't get up. I sat on Saturday
> and Sunday night finger feeding him water and food and heating up a
> hot water bottle for him. On Sunday I spent 12 hours at the
> emergency clinic. They were up front about not knowing how to
> a ferret, but I couldn't get to my vet until Monday. I told them
> about eating cloth and they poked around and said they did not
> believe there was a blockage. He was going to the bathroom still
> this point. I was at my vet at 9 a.m. Monday morning. I spent
> $700 dollars. We did not neglect him. We have no small objects
> around. We have no children, no children's toys. I don't know why
> he/they chew their bedding. We nursed our 9 year old ferret for 2
> years who suffered from insolunoma. Tuggie was our baby we did not
> neglect him.
> We got all three at SuperPets as babies so they were not abused.
> I was very upset when I discovered this site yesterday and found
> that other people had surgery performed on their ferrets. I had 2
> vets tell me how difficult it is to operate on a ferret. I'm not a
> vet so I believe them.
> I live in Oakville, Ontario if you can recommend a better ferret
> to me I would go to him/her in a heartbeat.
> Thank you to all those who have sent me their condolences.