Message Number: SG17003 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2006-03-31 22:46:01 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] RE: Crystals in urine (caused blockage)...cause?

Author wrote:
> My ferret ended up with stones due to her stealing the cat food. It is a food high in plant protein, called IVD. My vet said they are seeing more of this in ferrets who have access to that type of cat food.
> Good luck with the little guy!
> Jill

The stones to which you refer are struvite stones.

It is essential to find out the TYPE of stone. In the FHL archives you will even find one case of a very rare type that pointed to liver problems.

In ferrets most common have been the struvite, second most common have been cystine stones.

Except for the measures to clear the urinary tract of the stone and to save the kidneys (which are the same measures) the approaches for struvite and cystine stones are opposites, so it is essential to have the stones tested.

If something makes that impossible then the pH of the urine must be tested. If the ferret is creating struvite stones then the urine will be alkaline. If the ferret is making cystine stones then the urine will be acidic.

(Think of it like you do in relation to ferret diabetes -- in that it can produce the same symptoms as insulinoma but the need is the opposite one, though a few things are in common.)

You can see a ferret struvite urolith here:
(4th row, 4th column)
as well as 28 pages of different types of urinary tract stones which can occur.

So, the trick is that never assume that the stone must be a certain type. ALWAYS test the stones and the urine.

When you know the type of stone then you will know what to do beyond the measures to save the kidneys.

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