Message Number: YG5969 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Stephanie
Date: 2001-07-31 02:40:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] SERIOUS trouble...nutritional advice?

My first concern would be the dehydration. You might want to get him into
the vet for sub-q injections of fluid. From what I've read and heard here
(read: I'm not a vet by any means) dehydration is a fast killer. Other than
that, my next guess would be to look into Insulinoma and GI upsets with
blood test and fecal test.

Hope this helps,
with Maggie, Bullwinkle, Shasta, Emeline and Icabod

-----Original Message-----
From: More Ferrets?!? [mailto:moreferrets@h...]
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 11:47 AM

Lilburn was found out wandering at the end of June. His first week with me
I observed he's an older boy, professional kisser, distinct and complete
cataracts and - other than being a normal "a bit slower" oldster - he seemed
fine. Obviously I didn't know what kind of food he used to eat; he took
quickly to TF with a little Pro Plan Kitten thrown in for taste (secret
weapon for critters refusing to eat: Pro Plan seems to contain some magic
powder that makes it often the only food frustrated critters will touch).
He was fine for a week, then crashed.

I've only had experience with one other critter in this bad of shape for no
apparent reason before, and this other critter didn't crash out this fast.
Within 3 days Lilburn was absolutely emaciated and has stayed so ever since
(3 weeks now). He looks like a skeleton and is so dehydrated I have to
smooth his scruff back into place after feedings or it would stay all
scrunched up for quite some time. I have consistently been getting 30-50 cc
per day of mush into him, plus he's drinking on his own. Problem is what's
going in obviously isn't staying on!!!

The other critter I had with this type of "trouble" if you will was Grover.
I nursed that little boy round the clock for over two months. Grover had
additional troubles: he would have 2-4 day periods where he couldn't keep
anything down. During these times it was one bite every 10-20 minutes if
you get the picture. Lilburn is at least able to eat without immediately
losing it. He will occasionally gak or dig once or twice at his mouth, but
he's not grinding his teeth and frankly my opinion is that he just hates to
be fed - he just gets so messy! He always spends five minutes rubbing his
face in the carpet afterwards. Anyway…Grover had the additional trouble of
low blood glucose. We tried an ever increasing dose o' pred and then added
diaxozide, but we never did get his glucose over 60 during the whole time.
Grover also had wacky amplified bowel sounds…no idea why. Anyway…finally
ended up as low as can be, then the seizures set in, etc. etc. and he died.
Doc looked for all kinds of trouble on autopsy and found only one pancreas
tumor. ?!? Boy was I frustrated. So now we have Lilburn. Not only is the
spitting physical image of Grover, he also has some of the same problems.
He has no "noise" from his gut, he is keeping food down, etc…but his body is
not using it as it should and therefore I'm terrified he's in for the same
fate as Grover. I didn't realize until Grover was gone how much of my
emotional state was wrapped up in that little boy…so I'm having a VERY
difficult time dealing with Lilburn.

Any-who…sorry to be confusing between the two boys. SO…Lilburn is getting
30-50 cc per day, plus extra water, plus he's drinking on his own. He's a
standard size MF weezil who should weigh at least 2.5# and now weighs .75#.
Sunken eyes…ah, you get the idea - he's emaciated. No grinding of teeth and
no noticeable blood in the stool. Of course he's very weak, as you can well
imagine. He can no longer give me the 10 minutes a day of standard,
industrial strength kissing (god my nose must be dirty) - I assume because
he has one hell of a case of cotton mouth. His poopies are a bit seedy, but
frankly they look about the same as the food going in. I'm feeding more
often than every four hours and he has to go potty every time I wake him for
food, so that means he's going more often than every 4 hours. Now, I did
test his glucose, but remember he CRASHED so darn fast that even three days
after he went wacky and I tested him he already was so thin that I wonder if
his glucose wouldn't be low no matter if insulinoma is the cause or not.

What's he eating? 1/3 chicken baby food, 2/3 mashed kibble (TF). I use
only enough water to soften the kibble enough to get it through the syringe.
I give him extra water separately and he's still drinking on his own.
I've always used a simple "soup" recipe and my little theory behind doing so
was recently backed up by another B. Church posting. I'm wondering in this
case if perhaps he does need a specialized diet - one that would be more
easily used by his body? Something that will literally stick to his ribs?

So…at a complete loss here…no critter history to share…no "testing" done yet
since I don't know where to start…any suggestions appreciated!

Nanci & Mr. Lilburn, Supermodel

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