Message Number: SG11178 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2004-10-24 04:03:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Bacitracin/aminoglycosides .
Message-ID: <>

Hi Suzi,
Good question about topical ointments that are safe
enough for ferret use.
Yes, plain Bacitracin zinc ointment is safe.
Polysporin ointment contains 2 antibiotics (bacitracin and
polymyxin B sulfate) and is also safe.
Neosporin contains 3 antibiotics (bacitracin, polymycin, and
neomycin). The neomycin is a potential problem; however, the
ferret would have to ingest a lot if it before there is kidney damage.
Baytril otic can also be used topically.
Steriods can be used topically and are usually safe if ingested.
Remember pred is a steriod that we use orally and for a long
time in ferrets with insulinoma, IBD, and lymphoma. However
in your case (with an infection and pus) you would not want to
use a topical steriod.
As others suggested a recheck and debridement may be needed.

Now to clear up the aminoglycoside antibiotic(gentomicin, neomycin,
streptomycin, amikacin, tobramycin,and kanamycin) questions.
You can add Amikacin and Tobramycin to that list of aminoglycoside
antibiotics. Tobramycin can be used for eye drops, but you do not
want to use Amikacin or Tobramycin by injection unless there is no
other choice. In general, aminoglycoside antibiotics are used for gram
negative bacterial infection (ie E. coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas,etc).
Ferrets seem to be prone to kidney (and hearing) damage when amino-
glycosides are used. Dehydration {and/or using a cephalosporin (Cefa drops,
Keflex drops)} will increase the risk of kidney damage, so you do not
want to use aminoglycosides for cases of ECE.
In ferrets, we generally use Baytril (enrofloxacin), a fluoroquinolone
for gram negative bacteria. Another choice would be Cipro (ciprofloxacin).
Plus there are 3 other veterinary fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Now there is one aminoglycoside that is safe to use orally. It is Kanamycin,
and it is in Amforol. Fortunately Kanamycin is not absorbed from the
GI tract, so it does not do any damage to the kidneys. Thus Amforol
can be used safely in cases of ECE with dehydration.
Hope that clears up the confusion,
Jerry Murray, DVM