From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2002-02-24 06:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: UPDATE newcomer needs meds info--vet has none
The usual disclaimer applies: I am not a vet, just a moderately
experienced ferret owner. I think that means I'm not totally clueless
any more, but still have a lot to learn :) Having said that...
I fully agree with your concerns about doing surgery on Bert. Nine
years old is roughly like 90 in a person, and at that age I really think
that quality of life is the most important thing. I have two seven and
a half year olds, and even with them if something came up where surgery
is the normal treatment I would discuss the issues thoroughly with my
vet and think about it a lot. I can't give you any answers, but what I
would be asking would be:
--What are the (increased) risks of surgery on a ferret his age?
--What are his chances of coming through surgery OK?
--What non-surgical alternatives are there?
--How much would his life be extended by surgery, and would the
surgery improve his quality of life more than non-surgical
If it seems like those questions are weighted against surgery you are
reading what I intended to write. *If* my vet said one of my old guys
wouldn't have a good life or would die without surgery, there were no
good alternatives, and if the chances of him coming through the surgery
and having a good life afterwards were really good, then yes, I'd have
to let my vet operate. Otherwise, probably I'd just opt to do all I
could to keep him happy for as long as possible.
Having said all of that, I do know of two ferrets who definitely saw
their 13th birthdays. The thing is, they never had any serious health
problems until the very end. I know you'd love to have Bert for that
much longer if it's possible. I think you need to really ask a lot of
questions of your vet and do whatever you, in your heart, decide is best
All the best,
Caity and the notorious nine