Date: 2001-07-18 02:05:00 UTC
Subject: Undiagnosed for one month
I wrote a while back about my 5 year old male who stopped
eating his dry food (Totally Ferret) and was losing weight.
He was getting more lethargic as well and just didn't seem
like himself. He had blood work and urinalysis which showed
nothing. Two different vets felt nothing in terms of adrenal
tumors or obvious masses internally.
My vet (who has a lot of exotics experience) put him on
metronidazole and carafate to begin with. He was on
metronidazole for a good two weeks. During that time he was
eating chicken baby food and gained weight easily. His
behavior and mood still seemed off.
During the past three weeks he has had maybe 1 or 2 stools
that looked green in color. He still wouldn't eat his dry
food. My vet suggested that he might have eaten a foreign
object, so yesterday she did an x-ray with barium. The test
showed nothing. She still feels nothing. He's eating his
baby food well and has gotten more active, playful and
"normal" in terms of mood over the last five days.
This morning there was a hard, white mass in his stool that
looked porous. I didn't know if this could be from the barium
yesterday so I took it to the vet for analysis. I thought it
could have been something he'd eaten, like foam rubber. It
looked pretty hard, but also partially digested. The tech at
the vets office said it can be from the barium.
My vet said that since the x-ray didn't show anything, she is
thinking about doing an exploratory surgery. I don't like the
sound of that, the tests have shown nothing, and besides not
eating his dry food (and the strange stool this morning) I
don't find that he seems all that sick. Could it just be a
virus? I'm going to be trying out a new food (superior choice
ferret diet) and see if he'll eat it.
Is surgery too extreme? What are the chances he could have a
foreign object inside that wouldn't show up on any tests? I
understand that Totally Ferret has been known to be spoiled at
the time of sale. I'm just wondering if this is a case of a
virus, a picky eater and some strange stools. I can't imagine
that surgery is an appropriate path when symptoms are not
extreme. Does anyone have any thoughts for me?