Message Number: YG6042 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-08-01 22:25:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Poopy Problem

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., cvt81@p... wrote:
> I have never posted to the list before, but am hoping for some
> info. I rescued a ferret back on May 26 and brought her into my
> that has 3 ferrets that are 3yr,2 1/2yr, and 2 yr. When i took her
> to the vet here she told me she had Giardia and treated her with
> flagyl. Soon the others developed diarrhea and they were all
> with flagyl and panacure for 5 days. I take them 2 hours away to a
> more ferret knowledgeable vet for shots and check ups June 29 still
> complaining of seedy loose stools, fecals taken,they find
> giardia,except the rescue,and put all of them on amoxidrops mixed
> with flagyl for 14 days. Called last week saying stools on a
> are still watery with just a little brown with the next one being
> brownish orange and seedy. He has me giving them 1cc of yogurt till
> 5 days after normal poops because he said we may have killed off
> of the good bacteria with medication for so long. None of them are
> lethargic,losing weight or acting funny, but no normal poops, one
> they are watery the next day loose and seedy and they stink. I am
> very concerned and would like any help is very hard
> find good ferret knowledgeable vets in my area, thats why i take
> 2 hours away, but they aren't getting any better with their advise
> either. Thank you for the help.

Dear Lynn:

The fact that everyone came down with diarrhea soon after the
introduction suggests to me that instead of Giardia, that what we may
be seing here is ECE, or ferret coronavirus. Giardia generally does
not result in long-term seedy stools (yes your vet is right about the
seediness indicating a problem digesting food), and it rarely causes
an epizootic such as this. (In fact manyferrets with Giardia are
totally normal.)

While it looks like we have little to fear at this point with any
more acute sickness or mortality, we probably should switch to a
bland kibble-free diet.

The most important things to realize about ECE is that it is shed for
6-8 months, and that any naive ferets which are introduced to your
ferrets may soon also break with diarrhea.

You can find out more about ECE in the FHL archives, or on my web
site at

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM