Date: 2001-07-04 12:55:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Kit Panic - What just happened?
--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>
> I certainly don't think that you are being dumb here - this is a
> violent reaction to a stimulus of some type, and certianly not any
> type of behavior that you would expect in a kit.
> The particulars of this episode, though, do not ound like a
> but more of a sign of severe emotional distress. Just less than a
> month ago, Sukie forwarded me a most interesting story of a yound
> ferret with a history of biting and then falling into a deep
> catatonic state. We surmised on this unusual case that it may be a
> unusual manifestation of a fright reaction, as it had evolved over
> time. Your kit may be starting something similar.
> What was the stimulus - I suggest that it might be the transfer to
> the new cage In a minority of individuals, such as the classic
> cannibalistic postpartum jill, a profound (sometimes even a subtle)
> change in the environment may trigger some very unusual tendencies.
> I have yet to see an insulinoma in a 10 week old kit, and most of
> nurologic disease that is evident at that age is of a diecidedly
> degenerative nature, not episodic like this particular one has.
> At this point, you have two choices - 1) simply monitor for a
> recurrence or 2) try to recreate the circumstances of the first
> episode and in doing so, precipitate another one (but this time,
> gloves.) Whichever you are more comfortable with is fine, but if
> are planning to adopt out this kit, it may be nice to try to ensure
> that this unwanted behvior is not repetitive.
> True seizures are generally of little harm to an animal, unless it
> is prolonged to the point where the animal becomes anoxic due to
> unrelenting seizure activity. It is very stressful to the owner
> though. If this was a brief episode, there will be no lasting
Many thanks for your reassuring reply. I am more than ever concerned,
however, as the kit has remained completely passive and when I see it
try to walk, it manages but slowly and shakily. I know there is no
physical paralysis, as when I lift the little bugger, the legs pedal
like mad. But the degree of passivity in my presence is such that it
will lie on the garden path completely unmoving for half an hour.
There have been no more dramatic shrieking fits, but he constantly
sprays from his anal glands. He is eating and his stools look fine.
He is obviously able to get to the corner of the cage where the
ferrets defecate, as there is no sign of stools or urine in the
bedding, so when I'm not there, he's walking about.
It's as if, over night, I have suddenly become a figure of total
dread to the wee beasty, frightening it into a terrible state of
shock. Or it is feeling so ill that it is terribly frightened.
Do I need to isolate this baby from the others? There's no chance
this could be an infection, is there?