Message Number: YG691 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-03-04 12:06:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Coccidiosis (was Poop chart)

> > How should one know the difference between black tarry feces due to
> > blood digestion and and the similarly appearing feces due to
> > coccidiosis?

Coccidiosis causes pretty straight forward diarrhea, I have not
seen black tarry stools with a case diagnosed solely with
coccidiosis, and never in a ferret. I'd worry about gastric ulcers.

> Is coccidiosis prevelant in ferrets? I know it can be a concern in
> young kittens and puppies and in immunocompromised adult cats and
> dogs. It can be a nightmare in birds, but I wasn't aware that it was
> common in ferts. Is it the same as the dog/cat scenario, kits with no
> exposure picking it up from a mother who's shedding it or the
> immunocompromised fert picking it up from a healthy cagemate who's
> shedding it? Or does it hit strong, healthy adults?
Coccidiosis is generally spread due to poor sanitation at the
breeder/distributer/household. It is picked up from the environment,
and is generally more common in young or health compromised animals.

> Can one of the vets tell us how often you are seeing it?

Frequently in dogs and cats, seldom (maybe once or twice a
year) in ferrets, and those had been outdoors.

Hope this helps,
-Dr. Karen
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