Message Number: SG15517 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Marie Bartholdsson"
Date: 2005-09-26 20:25:08 UTC
Subject: RE: [ferrethealth] Epilepsy on a ferret
Message-ID: <BAY109-F1563A13A67E7CE795AFAB3B68B0@phx.gbl>

Hi Anitta, I really have no idea what might have happened to your friend's
ferret, but I think it would be a good idea to check the ferret for
insulinoma, as others have suggested, as well as a basic medical check up if
that hasn't been done already.

Personally, I would absolutely not breed a ferret in this situation. Ferrets
that have medical issues, or behavioural issues of this sort should
definitely be excluded from breeding, IMO.

Re epilepsy:

I had a ferret with epilespy, Trixie. She was 6 years old when she started
having sporadic epileptic episodes. She went through extensive medical tests
several times during the following months, but the vets could never find
anything wrong with her, so she was diagnosed with epilepsy of unknown
origin. At one point they thought she might have a tumour causing
neurological symptoms, but nothing was found at her necropsy.

Trixie lived with her epileptic attacks for a few months, and lived a normal
happy life except for the attacks. The attacks were relatively mild,
although it did sometimes include short screams, or whining. She was totally
unaware during an attack, flat out on the floor with seizures, and she
didn't seem aware of what had happened to her when she woke up, but she
always seemed tired and usually went to sleep afterwards. After a short nap
she was back to normal again.

Another symptom was mood swings, particularly overly happy, playful moods.
She would all of the sudden jump up, extremely excited, and I really do mean
extremely, not like normal play. Dooking and war dancing all over the place,
like nothing before. She would chase after me and play like crazy, and I
played with her until she became tired and calmed down. Then she seemed very
happy and content, and I was greatful that it was at least a symptom that
she could enjoy!

One evening, a number of months after the first epileptic episode, she
became very restless. After a few hours she started having small cramps,
like tics primarly affecting her jaw and facial muscles. It slowly spread to
include her legs and finally most of the body. We went to the vets in the
middle of the night, and they tried varoius medications to control the
seizures. She was finally heavily sedated. But the next morning the seizures
returned when she woke up from the sedation, and at that point I made the
very difficult desicion to have her euthanised, to prevent further