Message Number: YG5099 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-07-03 19:24:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Epileptic ferret

You wrote:
> I have a question concerning one of my ferrets. About four years ago,
> my female ferret was diagnosed with epilepsy. She suddenly started
> having seizures, was rushed to the vet, and was tested for everything
> that could possibily be causing them. Several vets saw her, and all
> decided epilepsy was the only diagnosis they could give. The seizure
> activity was brought under control with phenobarbitol, and she has
> been on this drug since. Other than having to take her medicine every
> morning, she is a healthy, active, and normal ferret. I have been
> unable to find any information on this subject, other than epilepsy
> in ferrets is very rare. Is it possible that she could have been mis-
> diagnosed? Is her life expectancy shortened by daily phenobarbitol
> use? Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated.
There is very little information on epilepsy in ferrets. In other
species, epilepsy is a diagnosis of exclusion- when you've ruled out
toxins, liver shunts, tumors - must be epilepsy. While phenobarbitol
over time can cause an increase in liver values in dogs, there has been no
research done (to my knowledge) on ferrets. I hope someone else may
have more info,

-Dr. Karen

This e-mail is provided for general informational purposes only. It is in
no way intended as a replacement for a consultation with a qualified
licensed veterinarian. If you are concerned about your pet's health, you
should seek the advice of your regular veterinarian as soon as possible.