From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-02-20 02:03:00 UTC
Subject: fur loss, laxatives, post-ECE problems, mandible, bone,
Quick note: fur loss does not always equal adrenal growths. We've
had one who had age-related fur loss; she had necropsy and pathology
after death due to her cardiomyopathy being of an unusual type so it
provided learning opportunities. Her adrenals were fine despite
lower body fur loss. Right now we have a male who has had total body
fur thinning for months that is worst on his feet but his TN Panel
numbers are all good and nothing else indicates any health problems
either. We don't know what is going on with his coat, yet.
Yes, we also have one who does not like laxatives. They are needed,
though. Fur balls can harden into tachebazors (spelling from memory
so could be wrong). These are clumped and felted mats of fur that can
take up much -- even sometimes most -- of a stomach before showing
signs. According to Karen Purcell's vet text there may be
contributing factors such as genetics, or a helicobacter flare-up, or
something else but no one knows for sure.
Some people's ferrets have suffered blockages (which can be fatal)
from fur balls.
Recently, our Scooter had liver inflammation and wasting due to
irritation from a large fur ball. In his case he grooms everyone
every day so he has to have a laxative unusually often -- daily. How
often it is given depends upon the individual.
If you can't find a flavor they like perhaps one of the pet store
alternatives such as Petromalt will be liked? Wishing you luck. We
scruff Jumpstart and give it; just have to with him, though the rest
beg for Laxatone.
In addition to malabsorption from reduction in intestinal alveoli due
to bad ECE it is possible that the chances of kidney damage are
increased if dehydration occurred. We found that after a 3 month
severe bout here MOST were fine long-term, but three had damage --
two to intestines and one to kidneys. ALL of those were either older
or already had a pre-existing health problem. It pays to be a bit
more careful about blood tests for the kidneys periodically, and for
watching for malabsorption and supplementing with things like a/d if
that is present.
In relation to the damaged jaw. We have never encountered that
ourselves, but it may be useful for you to know that, unlike most
primates including humans, the majority of mammals do NOT have the
mandible (lower jaw) fused at the medial symphysis (the chin).
Instead they have two separate sections which are joined by soft
connective tissue. This has its benefits and its drawbacks.
Bone: do be careful. Most recipes involving this have it well
crushed. While an injury from bone is rare it is possible to have it
cut right through the intestine esp. where the stomach empties into
the small intestine. If you choose to use it be a bit more vigilant.
Being adapted to dealing with bone does not equal being completely
safe from accidents with it.
I seriously doubt that the vet would have been foolish enough to
vaccine that ferret with a live and active incorrect CD virus vaccine
rather than a killed one but if it happened very recently do ask to
make sure. Don't even know how common such types of vaccines are
anymore. Many years ago there were some individuals who contracted
such things from live vaccines that were inappropriate for ferrets.
Again: I am not a vet, just a long-time ferret person.