Message Number: YG647 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-03-03 21:59:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ideas Needed!

The major problem here will be that by Monday, significant
decompostion will occur, even during refrigeration. A large gross
lesion such as a perforated ulcer may show up, a neoplasm, etc., but
the microscopic analysis will be severely compromised.

My experience with apparently healthy ferrets that drop over dead is
that they really weren't all that healthy to start with. Never say a
vet or had shots - that is not speaking too well for the husbandry,
and these owners may have missed some significant clues earlier on.
I'd look closely for ulcers to start with.

Without any type of history on these guys, and a prolonged postmortem
interval, this may be a difficult one to figure out. I am hopeful
that they may be way-freaked enough to get any other pets that they
have checked out and vaccinated.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM
Join the Ferret Health List at

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "FurTulsa" <FURTulsa@H...> wrote:
> I will be "babysitting" a dead ferret this weekend and taking it
into the vet Monday for a necropsy for the owners who liver far out
of town and work during the week.
> Here is the situation: Both Males, appx 6 years old. Bought as pet
store kits and only had this one family. They fed Eukanube and
Science Diet cat foods and they have never seen a vet or had
vacccinations. (they live in the middle of nowhere and vets didn't
know anything about ferrets)
> As of Wenseday afternoon, both were acting totally normal,
seemingly fine and healthy. Wenseday night one drops over dead.
> They called the local vet who told them "Oh ferrets rarely make it
to 6 and often just die quickly"... so the guy believed this to be
normal and buried the ferrets.
> This morning they awoke to find the other one dead. They are way
> SO.. I'll be "babysitting" the ferret and taking it in to our vet
for the necropsy. I have a list of questions I have already or will
be asking them to try to help narrow it down... my list is below.
Does anyone have any other thoughts or ideas of other information I
should ask for? I will be asking...
> Foods fed.
> When last (current) food was purchased and opened.
> I have requested they bring a sample of the food.
> Access areas for the ferrets, any thing that might possibly have
gotten into.
> Any chemicals etc in the home.