Message Number: YG740 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-03-05 14:30:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Poop chart

Dr. Karen Purcell wrote in answer to Edward Lipinsky:
> Sorry for the mix up, I already responded to your first two
>questions. Actually, I need to know what you want answered here - do
>ferrets with black tarry stool always die (from it/from the cause of
>it) - my answer is No OR Do all ferrets that die have black tarry
>stool at the end - but again, my answer is NO. The only cases of
>death with black tarry stools (where I was able to necropsy) had
>gastric ulcers, or were under treatment for gastric ulcers.

Thank you for explaining about that. We've never had one with black
tarry feces before death in almost two decades, though we have had
ones who had problems that were treated, and most certainly have had
several who had Helicobacter flare-ups or a tendency to get other
infections (so extra care had to be used) when their health was
compromised by surgery or illness. I am sure that everyone has
experienced that.

Is it the iron content when the blood is digested that causes the
coloration? If so, do ferrets with high-iron diets ever get black,
but not tarry feces? We certainly have at times during some healing
phases given high liver content food without black stools. If not
iron, then what causes the pigmentation?