Message Number: YG813 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-06 09:03:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: ECE treatment (New member

Hi Everyone - Excellent advice from Debi at Ferrets 1st on supportive care
for ferrets suffering ECE.

I would add only a few suggestions. As mentioned before, rapid hydration is
extremely important as first line of support - Debi described this very well,
I think,
For eight years I was available 24 hours for emergency supportive care
advice. Hundreds of calls regarding ECE. I cannot count the times a ferret
or ferrets were lost due to rapid dehydration. Just before Christmas this
past year, I received owner reports of a total of eleven ferrets lost in less
than a 2 week period. It remains a very serious health threat for our

Meds are prescribed by your vet to help calm the stomach and antibiotics to
avoid secondary infections made opportunistic in a sick and weak ferret.
Antibiotics will not help ECE because it is a virus.

A sick ferret might need to be supported with sub-Q fluids or plain infant
pedialyte orally if the ferret is willing to take it. The latter should be
administered at side of mouth in front of teeth by infant medicine dropper to
avoid choking.

STAT is excellent to use for victims of ECE or other severe digestive upsets
or for ferrets otherwise ill and in need of building up. I consider it
liquid gold and so does my vet. It is a thick fluid that is highly
nutritious and easily digestible. It can be added to other things or fed
straight with syringe. Once ferrets get the taste, they usually like it very
well. I even add it to my "nutrtion drink" for lactating jills. Helps to
keep the weight on mama which in turn benefits the kits.

STAT can usually be obtained from your vet or from Revival Animal Health at
800-786-4751. On line, it is either or Sorry, I have it noted both ways.

Also, don't forget Nutri-Cal - also easily digested and high in nutrition and
BTW, I don't think it is possible to "over vitamin" a ferret sick with ECE
since digestion is so poor in affected animals. First concern should be
hydrate and getting something in stomach. The ferret's metabolism is so
rapid that you will often note a loss of muscle tissue in a sick animal.
This is because the ECE "starvation" effect causes the body to strip the
muscles to provide nutrients for organs and brain. If not remedied fast, the
body will go to the organs to save the brain.
If I am not correct on this, am sure vets will point it out!

It has been 7 or 8 years since I have had ECE here. Note that breeders in
the Washington Metropolitan area report the same. Hopefully, our animals
have built up some "herd immunity" in breeding from mothers. However, ECE
still scares me!
It often takes a long time for a ferret to recover from ECE and even when
better, may have a relapse at times especially when under stress. Patience
is the key. Best Regards, Meg Chaotic Ferrets