Message Number: SG14420 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2005-06-20 16:17:52 UTC
Subject: RE: Hard belly
Message-ID: <>

Ruptures are not very common but they can cause sudden death when they occur.

Before then a spleen which is incredibly large can make it hard for food to pass from the transverse colon into the descending colon and that is uncomfortable (but a vet can teach massage tricks to help with that).

Carrying around a huge spleen will slow down a ferret for obvious reasons. As Dr. Bruce Williams has said, "Imagine if your spleen began to weight 40 pounds."

A ferret vet can assess the spleen to see several things:

How the margins appear, if there are lumps within the spleen, and some other features. (Important because if they are off then rapid surgery may be lifesaving.)

If the spleen is beyond normal enlargement with age

If the spleen is large enough that it poses a rupture risk


Ferrets do exceedingly well without a spleen usually, so that is not a concern.

If your ferret is not a surgical candidate some ferrets in that situation can have the size of their spleens reduced for a while with antibiotic treatment.

So, yes, have a ferret vet check this.