Message Number: YG498 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-01 20:21:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ferret Treats

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Mike Janke" <mjanke@m...> wrote:
> It seems to me that Bob Church posted quite a lengthy message about
> the dangers (or lack thereof) of chocolate on the FML within the
> year or so.

> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., JTRADFORD@w... wrote:
> > 1: Is it possible that too much chocolate killed a ferret? The
> > guess, as there was alot of it found under a couch,and 2 ferrets
> (ages 3
> > and 5) were found dead.Does it affect ferrets the same as it does
> dogs?

My vet told me of a ferret who died as a direct result of getting
into a bag of chocolate candy. The ferret found a bag of easter
candy on a Friday night, and had eaten an unknown amount before the
owners found him. A couple hours later, the ferret was sluggish and
having diarrhea. By morning, he was much worse so they ran him to
their vet. Preliminary bloodwork showed a very low glucose reading
but not much else, and that vet told the owners she "didn't know much
about ferrets but insulinoma could be suspected." That vet then
phoned my vet, and sent the owners and now comatose ferret to her

X-rays showed "something" in the stomach... emergency exploratory was
done, and she found that the ferret's stomach was full of undigested,
liquid chocolate (she collected almost 10ccs of it). There was NO
evidence of movement in the gut... like the digestion had basically
shut down. The worst thing though, was the pancreas - it was
a "bloody pulp" by my vet's description. No way the ferret could
have survived.

Apparently that kind of reaction isn't "normal" for the theobromines
in chocolate... from what I understand it's more likely a reaction to
the massive amount of sugar the pancreas was suddenly called on to
handle. The "simple" diagnosis wound up being death by sugar

Dr Williams? I'd love to hear your opinion on this.

Carla Smith
WhyNot? Ferrets