Message Number: YG6345 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Kymberlie Barone
Date: 2001-08-13 20:14:00 UTC
Subject: Mikayla - kidney problems?

Hello all,

I have a situation with one of my ferrets that has left me at
a loss, and I'm hoping someone else out there has been through
similar and can help, or the vets on this list have

Mikayla is a 5 1/2 year old female Marshall ferret. She's been
in excellent health since I got her at age 2. For the past two
years or so she has been affectionately called "Double Wide"
because she was a very fat little girl. But she was always
very active, good muscle tone, and otherwise really in good

Over the past few weeks she was losing weight, but with the
weather out (very hot) and the fact that she was still acting
normal, I didn't think a lot about it. But then I started
noticing that she was definitely not doing well. Her face
changed - she was squinting her eyes, and her face shape
actually seemed to change, it was suggested to me that it was
due to rapid loss of muscle coverage on the face. She became
somewhat lethargic, dehydrated, and overall just 'not right.'
I did notice some congestion or wheezing in the chest once
when I picked her up. Thinking that she might have a chest
cold or similar bug, I began treating her with aggressive
supportive care. By Thursday though she was not better, so I
made an appointment with the vet and took her in on Friday.

Mikayla had some wetness apparently due to urine on her belly
and urethra area, and she constantly was walking around
'scooting her butt' on the floor. At first it seemed as though
she was just trying to dry herself off, but then it became
more apparent that she was uncomfortable and trying to itch
herself. She didn't seem to be burned from the urine, so my
guess was it was due to internal burning.

The vet did a very comprehensive exam on her and the following
are the findings: (these are her notes directly)

- Ulcer on the roof of the mouth
- Thickened bowel loops, tense (abdomen), bladder is sore
- Suspect pyelonephritis, possibly kidney failure
- Further diagnostics if not responding - cbc/cs/urine c +
sensitivity (I don't know waht this means)
- She has a guarded prognosis. Hydration is key. Give oral
antibiotic twice daily for 6 weeks. Urine re-check in 3 weeks.

Mikayla had given a urine sample conveniently during the exam
and they tested that. Unfortunately, I don't have the levels
on this sheet here but I remember her saying that white and
red blood cells were high (I *think*). I know it doesn't help
much to know the other levels but due to whatever they were,
the vet believed that she had had a urinary tract infection
that spread to the kidneys.

Now, the problem is that she is not getting any better. Maybe
I'm too anxious, but it's been three days and I was hoping for
some improvement. She got a shot of baytril at the vet, and
from Saturday on she's been getting 1/4 of a baytril 'taste
tab' (22.7 mg) twice a day. She still won't eat kibble so I
make her soupy A/D and she takes some - not as much as I'd
like. Once in a while she grinds her teeth but not all the
time. Her poops are green and liquidy. She is dehydrated but
not severely. She seems a little wobbly on her legs (I did a
blood glucose test on her prior to taking her to the vet, it
was a 135 fasted) but sometimes she is active and wanders
around almost like she's fine. I think the wobbly-ness might
be due to discomfort in the abdomen. She still seems to be
uncomfortable but I don't know if it's because she's burning
or just because she's hurting. Her eyes are still sunken in
and that's what worries me the most. When she's out and about,
she walks for a bit and then flat ferrets and doesn't move for
several minutes. I thank God that she was so fat prior to this
illness because I really think that's what's keeping her going
- her reserves :)

I've written a novel here but I wanted to be thorough. I just
don't know what else I should be doing. I've had ferrets
before who went through kidney problems - one summer my
shelter was plagued with ferrets who were quite ill, all with
kidney problems, we lost a few to it, and managed to save
several with just aggressive supportive care. If it was caught
early enough and aggressive care was given soon enough, they
bounced back pretty quickly. I caught this in Mikayla right
away, and am doing everything that I know of to help her, but
she's just not getting better.

Any suggestions/experience with this would be very much
appreciated. She's very much loved, but unfortunately love
alone just doesn't seem to be enough this time. Thanks in
advance..... !


Kymberlie Barone
Ferret Mommy to 23
L'il Grunt, Kerplunk, Mookie, Mikayla, Calvin Hob, Smarty
Pants, Twiggy, Bino, Piggly Wiggly, Skittles, Corky, Pogo,
Squirt, Muse, Boo, Patchwork Princess, Tequila Sunrise,
Trouble Too, Tangerine Twist, Sallie, the Crazy Babies
Tanglefoot and Tumbleweed, and Homer, my Forever Foster!