Date: 2002-12-10 02:55:15 UTC
Subject: RE: Musings re liver disease
While this information may be valid in dogs, the balance of it is not valid in the ferret. This is a good example of why I commonly caution vets and owners "A ferret is not a cat, nor is it a dog."
I think that this is best classified as not related to ferrets.
With kindest regards,
Bruce Williams, DVM
> this may not be news, or significant or related to ferrets but it got
> me thinking- this is just some stuff i got from reading about liver
> disease in dogs.
> most liver problems are primarily caused by:
> bacterial infections
> toxins - (I suppose that could be either ingested or a result of a
> different interal problem throwing off toxins)
> Trauma - It didn't say whether that would be short term or
> long term, or rather could a fall from 3 years ago result
> in something much later? Or would it be just recent
> Clots - ? what causes clots?
> Leptospirosis - this I found interesting because my ferrets go outside
> a lot where there are lots of mice and chipmunks.
> Giesela has actually killed a couple of chipmunks (no flames
> please, she got up the downspout before i knew what was
> happening - besides my neighbor puts out sticky traps for
> them and i think she's actually a more humane killer)
> these all can lead to bile duct blockage or a sudden onset of hepatitis.
> Secondary causes
> IBD - which can lead to bile duct blockage - ferrets seem to have
> lots of ibd.
> intestinal obstruction - again, ferrets
> liver infection (I would think that would be the same as a
> bacterial infection listed under primary?)
> parasites (cause fluid)
> Kidney disease (cause fluid)
> So there are some interesting possiblilites here I think that relate to
> ferrets liver that aren't a cancer.
> There were a couple of other diseases listed I thought interesting
> especially in light of giesela's curled up foot that the doctor said
> was neurological. - but one is usually only found in specific breeds of
> dogs (can't remember which disease)
> Macrovascular dysplasia - can affect the gastrointestinal tract,
> urinary tract and central nervous system resulting from build up of
> ammonia crystals
> Hepatatic Encepholpathy or HE
> Central Nervous Illness caused by liver problems, again i think
> something to do with ammonia.
> Treatment for both of these is neomycin, metronidozale and lactulose.
> Neomycin kills ammonia causing bacteria.
> also there is chronic acute hepatitis - i didn't get exactly what this
> was other than chronic liver problem.
> For the causes listed as Primary and secondary, generally speaking the
> treatment is the same - antiobiotics. Metronidozale and amoxi together
> was what was usually listed.
> Actigel is used to get bile flowing
> My vet didn't want to try the neomycin or actigel for some reason. i'm
> not sure whether i should push it.
> also - apparently sam-e is being used with some success in dogs but its
> pretty new
> One last quote that is probably not related but i thought interesting
> "liver disease is considered to be a cause for diabetes insipidus of
> neprogenic origin - occurs because kidneys can't respond to
> antidiuretic hormones produced by the body due to interference from
> another problem".
> Ferrets don't seem prone to Diabetes but when i see "Antidiuretic",
> ferrets seem to have problems with fluid, and "hormones" in one
> sentence it caught my eye.
> Homeopathic treatments for the liver were: milk thistle, tumeric, b,
> e and c vitamens.
> I'd be interested in a vet's opinion in swapping the metronidozale for
> a different antiobiotic since they hate it so much - what is specific
> about this drug vs. others that make it good for the type of bacterial
> infections that cause liver problems?
> I would like to have input on sources and doses for milk thistle if
> anyone has any.
> Thank you.