Date: 2001-03-07 21:31:00 UTC
Subject: Gotta ask.
I just had about the weirdest experience. You guys may
remember the "dead ferret story"?
Brief synopsis. Man calls. Lives in town 2-3 hours away. Has
two "perfectly healthy happy plump ferrets"... one drops over
dead, older so he thinks age and buries it. Until two days
later when the other dropped over dead. He is upset and
clueless why they died, afraid to get more in case it was
something contagious. No decent vet in town but can not get
here during office hours.
Sounds like a concerned, caring, distraught owner so I offer
if he would like to bring me the body, I will store it
overnight and take it to the vet for him.
The second I saw the body I knew something was wrong. It was
beyond emaciated, a skeleton with skin. Hardly any fur,
literally swarming black with fleas. I asked about the fleas
and they said they didn't know if you could treat ferrets.
Anyway. Vet called yesterday with necropsy results. Official
statement was the ferret died of a combination of starvation
and anemia. There was 0% body fat, including in the abdominal
wall. She gave her opinion that the ferret had been slowly
starving for weeks.
I finally work up the nerve today to call the owner with the
results. He responds with "well that's not possible he was
fine and healthy and fat just hours before he died". I restate
"sir you realize the vet says this animal starved to death?"
He just says "well he looked fine". SO then I say "well just
my opinion but seeing the body myself I don't see how it is
possible this ferret didn't look sick before it died".. he
again responded "no it was perfectly healthy". Then says "Well
I wanted to make sure it was nothing contagious before we go
get more" and hangs up.
Now the weirdest part is I totally get the feeling these
people are caring and honest, the really had no clue the
ferrets were sick and have no clue they did anything wrong.
IS there anything else that would explain the vets findings?
IS it really possible for someone to look at a sunken,
emaciated ferret and NOT realize something was wrong?
I know this seems almost silly but this has me extremely