Date: 2003-08-08 08:35:28 UTC
Subject: long bouts of coughing as a secondary condition
Hello again, everyone -
As always, thanks so much for the huge amount of knowledge you
This time, i'm not writing about Buddy - I'm writing about
Hopefully, I can type this as condensed as possible, and still
be complete.....Squeekers is a 9 year old that we adopted at the age of 5. She has always been the most robust ferret in our group of 8 - even more so sometimes than the younger guys (seriously, my husband says she's a tank - solid and healthy - amazing).
Off and on over the last year or so, she's had a swollen vulva - but no hair loss. Because of her age, surgery not really something we're looking at, so we've just been watching her progress. She's slowed down, somewhat, due to age we think, but she's eaten, drank and played like normal Squeeky.
I had her blood done, just in case, last year, and she had good labs - EXCEPT for slightly low blood sugar. Since then, repeat labs have reflected normal blood sugars.
Okay, about 4 months ago, she came up with a bit of greenish puss coming from her swollen vulva (still no hair loss at this point). She was put on antibiotics, and it cleared up, but about 2 weeks after the course of antibiotics ended, the greenish puss (in small amounts), came back. The vet sedated her slightly and went into the opening of the vulva with a tiny instrument (?), and found a little ball of old, dried puss. He cleaned her out and she recovered again with the antibiotics.
We wondered if that old dried puss inside had been what had made the drainage reoccur the second time. However, now, it is appearing again. She is back on antibiotics again, and I know it will clear up again - until the next time.
It doesn't seem to bother her but I wonder what kind of "something" she's got brewing inside of her that is causing this puss.
Also, as of just 2 months ago (around the second coming of the vulva puss), she began losing hair quickly.
Okay, onto the coughing. About 3 weeks ago, and separate from the puss issue, Squeekers began breathing harder, and having these "coughing" fits. No sneezing, strictly coughing - and sometimes, she has that (someone else on here described it as a "snarfley" sound - good description!) rattley, snarffy breath that comes and goes.
After lots of internet research, I was convinced she either had pneumonia or some secondary infection from the puss - or cardiomyopathy. However, at the vets, her xrays reveal that both her heart and lungs look good (I saw them, too, but then, I'm not a vet!) - and OF COURSE, she didn't cough once, or rattle, while at the vet's!
Since then, she has had intermittent, long coughing bouts and her breathing is mostly a bit quicker than I'm used to seeing with her.
The only thing that has changed in our household is that in June, we installed a window air conditioner in the livingroom window (where all of the ferret's cages are). Could this be part of the coughing problem?
Her labs and Xrays from last week both looked fine. I have a
terrific vet, but what are we missing?
So now, we're in another holding pattern - antibiotics for vulva puss and observing the coughing. My gut tells me there is something major going on - but it's a mystery. I'm sure she's got an adrenal something going on - but what's with this coughing? What's with the puss?
Any suggestions? Ideas? Experiences?
Stacey and the 8 Bubbies=)