Message Number: SG14654 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2005-07-09 17:35:55 UTC
Subject: RE: Enlarged spleen??
Message-ID: <>

First off, you are not cleaning his ears with hydrogen peroxide or a homema=
de water based solution, right? Doing so can set up some ferrets for repea=
ted fungal infections. You will find a past post on this in =
which reads

Just noticed this thread on hydrogen peroxide, and use in ears, etc. =

Here's the skinny on hydrogen peroxide - it can be used in some =

instances to clean wounds, etc., but usually only in the initial =

phases. =

Hydrogen peroxide has both good and bad properties. The good =

properties of peroxide are that a) it fizzes upon contact with =

tissue. Now if you have a lot of dirt in a wound, bacteria, etc., =

this action can bring some material to the surface that would =

otherwise sit in a wound - so this physical action is beneficial. =

B) Peroxide has a mild anti-bacterial effect (although alcohol and =

iodine are stronger against bacteria. Adding peroxide to tissues =

liberates oxygen-containing free radicals which will work against =

bacteria at least in some fashion. However, it also works against =

healthy tissue as well. =

c) It doesn't hurt. =

Now for the bad parts: =

1) Wounds treated with hydrogen peroxide heal more slowly. Most =

hospitals and doctors recommend against using peroxide as a =

repetitive cleansing agent for wounds. =

2) After the fizz is gone, hydrogen peroxide becomes simple water. =

This makes it a very bad choice for an ear cleaner. I far prefer an =

astringent for use in ears. Using peroxide overtime is just like =

pouring water into your ferrets ears, and eventually you will end up =

with an infection. =

3) Unlike iodine solutions (like betadine, etc.) there is absolutely =

no residual antibacterial action. =

For routine cleansing of wounds, water with a little bit of soap, or =

a little bit of an iodine-containing soap is the way to go. For =

ears, the combinationof a ceruminolytic applied first (something that =

dissolves wax), followed by an alcohol-based product for cleaning =

(which will help dry up moist ears) is the most appropriate way to go. =

With kindest regards, =

Bruce Williams, DVM =


Are you sure the problem is the spleen? There are other possibilities. Her=
e are three:

Enlarged spleen

Water-balloon belly

Fat redistribution from adrenal neoplasia

Ferrets often get enlarged spleens. They just seem to be very prone to it.=
Too large and they impact on the ability to move waste through the colon,=
though, and that is uncomfortable but can be helped -- in some cases --wit=
h carefully and gently done massage that a vet can demonstrate. For some, =
the spleen is just so large that rupture is possible and then massage shoul=
d be avoided. Your vet will consider the possibility of chronic infection =
(usually Helicobacter) so you may come home with at least a couple of weeks=
' worth of Biaxin, Amoxi, and liquid Carafate (a combo which is a lot easie=
r to give than the old one of Flagyl/Metronidizole, Amoxi, and Pepto, and t=
he earlier worse combo needs to be given longer). The vet may want to try =
a different combo. Your vet will also check the spleen for things like une=
ven margins or unevenness in the spleen itself indicating a possible malign=
ancy. Carrying around a big spleen can become uncomfy, so if the size can =
be gotten down that is good.

Water balloon belly: fluid in the abdomen is usually due to cardiomyopathy=
. There are many medical approaches for this. An ultrasound of the heart =
allows for designing the best approach for the given individual, and with c=
areful care and good luck some ferrets can get over a year with cardiomyopa=
thy, depending on numerous factors. You can find info on this in a compila=
tion in the Files section (where there is also a compilation on a less comm=
on form of heart disease in ferrets, A/V Node Block) in
and then add more recent info by using the Archives at
At times there are other causes for abdominal fluid, but they are less comm=

Fat redistribution: With adrenal neoplasia it is not unusual for a ferret =
to have fat redistribute to the abdomen and away from the thorax. This hap=
pens some with age, too, but a sudden change would point to a medical conce=
rn rather than age. For adrenal neoplasia surgery is usually the best opti=
on but if a ferret is 8 years old there would need to be careful presurgica=
l blood tests and chest imaging to see if the ferret is even up to it, so a=
t that age a combination of Lupron Depot and melatonin -- with added meds a=
s needed for complications like prostate enlargement, may be the way to go,=
depending on the individual. See: