Message Number: YG5259 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-07-07 20:43:00 UTC
Subject: Re: my ferret died...I need major advice

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Lisa Shortley" <shortleylj@m...>
This was when I noticed there was
> blood on my t-shirt and shorts.

> When we returned from the vets today, we discovered bloody stools
> the cave she was sleeping in. There was also vomit (I assume the
> soup I'd fed her the night before) on top of that.

Dear Lisa:

I am sorry for your loss. Having read this post and the following on
on the results of Nala's autopsy, The most likely diagnosis at this
point is a bleeding gastric ulcer which eroded a large vessel in the
stomach. The picture is not that which we would associate with lead-
based paint - plumbism is a prolonged disease which is manifested by
severe anemia, but not hemorrhage. Also in lead poisoning,
radiography of the stomach may show radiodense chips, or dark lines
in the extremities, due to the action of lead in bones.

But I doubt that lead is the problem, and your story unfortunately,
is not an uncommon one. The combination of black blood inthe
stomach, vomiting, and red vomit and stools in an animal tht was fine
the previous day is strongly suggestive of a subacute to chronic
ulcer which unfortunately eroded into a blood vessel. The vessels
are quite supreficial at the end of the stomach where it empties into
the small intestine, and this is also the area where most ulcers
occur. It is likely that the ulcers may have been there a while, but
just silent, and it would be interesting to compare Nala's weight at
necropsy with her most recent weight to see if she had been off her
food as of late.

Many ulcers are very small and only the most careful examination will
disclose them. I am interested in hearing any toxicologic results,
but in this case, I fear that they will be negative.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM