Message Number: YG5890 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-07-29 00:13:00 UTC
Subject: Re: post op - help - deathly ill

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., mossimo010@a... wrote:
> We have a ferret- Emmett- and he is 2.5 years old. While away on
> vacation his
> intestines became obstructed with a small rubber piece. He had
> surgery and we
> brought him home yesterday. It was rough going because he had a
> in his
> intestinal wall, which was repaired. The object was removed,
> skin
> was glued shut and he has about a three inch scar.
> He survived, however we received barely any information about
> aftercare.
> They gave us Nutrical and an antibiotic pill to break up and give
> him.
> They initially told us that he could eat the pill in a treat or
> watered down
> food or in the Nutrical. It was also Ok for him to eat. Later, we
> called back
> because he was not eating at all and refused the Nutrical. They
> informed us
> to get a syringe to force feed him (we read your info on feeding
> ferrets
> and are currently buying some baby food). In the meantime, Emmett
> getting
> more and more sick. WE called the emergency line and the vet told
> not to
> feed him any food and that he should only receive the Nutrical for
> two days -
> no solid food because it is too grainy. He had already eaten some
> IAMS kitten
> chow and began vomiting about an hour after eating. He has been
> vomiting/ dry
> heaving about every hour and has not been able to drink/eat
> He even
> got sick when given the Nutrical. He currently is lethargic, seems
> dazed and
> out of it and can barely be woken out of a sleep. We are not feedi!
> ng him anything else and will be
> returning to the vet in the morning. The problem is, we don't
> them to
> tell us the correct thing to do.
> Please tell us what you think would be best for him. We want him to
> be OK and
> he just seems to be getting worse.

Unfortunately, this does not sound like a good situation.
Hospitalization with fluids would be the best start - at this point,
I would not even try to feed anything else. There may be intstinal
damage ongoing that was not apparent at surgery, another piece of
rubber, or pehaps even the rent in the intestine has ripped open

I generally don't agree with putting an animal back on kibble right
after intestinal surgery, nor to use Nutrical as the only source of
nutrition. Once he is re-stabilized a gruel or slurry of baby food
is the way to go in this case, but only after he is stable again (and
it doesn't sound like he is at all stable now.) Make sure that they
get bloodowrk on him in addition to just putting him on fluids - we
would need some specific daa on him to ensure that he is not
developing periotonitis.

Figers crossed,

Bruce Williams, DVM