Message Number: YG5555 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jennifer
Date: 2001-07-16 03:02:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Jaw problem

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Jennifer " <kyfreckles@y...> wrote:
> > Hello,
> > We took him to the vet for shots and a checkup and brought this
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > it and see if maybe there is a bone tumor or something. That is
> where
> > we are at now.
> The prednisone has helped a
> > bit. His mouth will open further now than it used to when he
> > but not totally open like the rest do. We really don't know what
> > 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
> Dear Jennifer - This is an interesting and unique case, and one
> I haven't heard about previously in ferrets. We can first rule out
> the possibility of "lockjaw" - the old name for tetanus, as this
> condition affects all of the muscles and severe ambulatory deficits
> precede any o=involvment of the face.
> The possibility of myositis is also one that has not yet been seen
> ferrets - it is a disease of odgs that does hit the muscles that
> control chewing - the top of the head does generally lose most of
> muscle covering.
> Usually, a bone tumor of this area would be pretty obvious, but the
> consultation wouldn't hurt. Some form of defect in the
> temporomandibular joint is probably at the top of my list - rarely
> this joint in dogs can be deformed so that it does not open
> properly. The correct radiographs to demonstrate any defect here
> would probably need to be taken at a referral radiology practice -
> the TMJ of a ferret is very small - the detail that is available at
> most practices may not be sufficient to fully evaluate in detail.
> I wish I could be of more help, but form a distance, this is
> the best I can do. I am interested to hear if anyone else has seen
> case like this and what the final outcome of this particular case
> will be.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce Williams, DVM

Dr. Williams,
Thank you so much for the information. I have been playing phone
tag with my vet since last Wednesday, so I'm hoping to snare him in
the morning. I will let him know about your suggestions and we will
see. I will definately let you know. This is just my luck to have a
ferret that has a rather rare condition. But, I'm happy as long as it
isn't life threatning, which I know it isn't (as long as he is
eating). Well, thanks again. I will keep you and everyone else