Message Number: SG7551 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2004-01-22 04:53:15 UTC
Subject: Update on Trixie (renal disease)
Message-ID: <>

(For some reason I didn't get a whole bunch of digests & finally came to the site to read responses and post again.) Thanks for the suggestions on feeding Trixie (post on 1/11). It turns out that her remaining kidney is not functioning up to snuff. The kidney values weren't terribly high, but they were enough to have her admitted to the vet hospital, where she still is now (she should be coming home tomorrow or Friday). She is eating just about anything they give her (k/d and Iams kitten seem to be her favorites). She is also anemic (no surprise with the kidney disease).

Part of the problem was that her gums were very inflamed because of the kidney disease -- she also potentially had other "ulcer-like" symptoms (no teeth grinding, but eating obviously caused her discomfort). She's been on IV fluids and cimetidine as well as antibiotic. She's a LOT better -- eating on her own, gums are firm and pink, and her temp is nearing normal (it's been low). For some indicators, her BUN had been 130 and it's now 93; her creatinine was 3.3 and is now 2.5. Basically, she's been dialized via the IV fluids. We will be doing SC fluids when she comes home ... and, of course, keeping a close eye on her.

In retrospect, Trixie has had reddish gums for some time now. We cleaned her teeth and massaged her gums (with pet dental pads), and there was some improvement, but only some. I now wonder if her gums were reddish because her kidneys were failing. I wish I'd realized that sooner, though she did have a full blood workup this past spring -- all values were normal.

So ... if your ferret has red, inflamed gums that don't seem to be responding to dental treatments, you might want to pull bloods to check kidney levels. Especially if the ferret is slowing down (possible anemia).

Oh ... and I was born with one kidney (someone else said their dad had one kidney). I've had no problems, but mine is a healthy kidney -- Trixie's got a bum kidney.

--Mary & the Fuzz
Mary R. Shefferman & Trixie & Gabby