Message Number: YG5487 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jennifer
Date: 2001-07-14 08:13:00 UTC
Subject: Jaw problem

My husband and I got 2 ferrets (one girl, Loki, and one boy,
Bartleby) from a girl off the net back in May. The second they
arrived we noticed that Bartleby was rather thin for being a year old
(he was thinner than Loki, also a year old, and our youngest girl,
Dweasle, who was 6 months old at the time). The girl who gave him to
us said that she had him for 6 months and always just gave him
suppliments to make sure he was getting enough nutrition, so we did
the same. A few days later, I watched him while he was eating and was
pretty shocked to see him hold his nose in the air and gulp the food
down. It actually scared me b/c it looked like he was choking or
something. I also saw that he would take a long time just to get a
piece of food in his mouth. Once the food would get into his mouth,
he would sometimes get it between his teeth and cheeck and rub the
side of his face against something in order to break the food apart.
We took him to the vet for shots and a checkup and brought this to
his attention. He took xrays, blood work, and tried to open
Bartleby's mouth while he was under sedation. He couldn't get the jaw
open but maybe 1/2 and inch. He thought it could've been Miositosis
or Lock jaw. So, he put him on prednisone and sent me to another vet
for a second opinon. She said it was neighter of those 2 things b/c
of the xrays and the fact that he hadn't lost any muscle tone around
his scull. She suggested sending the med records and xrays to an
exotic animal radiology specialist in California so he could review
it and see if maybe there is a bone tumor or something. That is where
we are at now. My vet has no clue what it could be, but isn't worried
since Bartleby is just as playful as the rest and we still give him
the suppliments to ensure good nutrition. The prednisone has helped a
bit. His mouth will open further now than it used to when he yawns,
but not totally open like the rest do. We really don't know what to
expect here and don't know what, if anything can be done about this.
Has anyone seen this type of problem in ferrets before? Any ideas as
to what may be wrong or in what direction we should go? Any help here
would be great. Thanks so much for reading this long post and for
Jennifer Moyer