Message Number: FHL2853 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "tansyhl"
Date: 2007-10-27 21:52:24 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Acute renal failure possibly due to vector borne illness

About 2 months ago now my 5 mos old whole female kit Kiera broke out
a second floor window screen and escaped. It took me 2 weeks to get
her back (fyi she was a mile and a half away over very hilly terrain)
and when I did she had 19 ticks attached to her- both dog and deer. I
am in a Lyme endemic area. She was very dehydrated and had lost a
great deal of weight. When I got her (on a Friday) she had a fever of
approximately 106 degrees. I gave her subq fluids and started her on
doxycycline and clavamox per my vets instruction. I also started
syringe feeding her 3-4 times a day.

The following Monday when I got her into the vet her temp was normal,
but her kidney values were awful. Her urine glucose was 200 I believe
it's mg/ul (can;t find my Ketosticks at the moment), and actually
later in the week went up to 500. Her BUN was 130, Creatine 4.8 and
Phospherous was 10.4. Per instuctions I continued with the
antibiotics, feeding and also pushed 50ml of subq fluids a day.

After a week she had gained wgt and was drinking on her own. Stopped
the clavamox and subq fluids. At 2 weeks she had regained most of
her wgt. At 3 weeks her urine glucose levels were 0, she was eating
on her own, and other than being skittish still and sleeping more
than normal, was acting like a normal ferret. She is continuing on
doxycycline for a month from when the last tick was found. Her BUN
etc have not been rechecked, but will be in several months.

We'll never know what caused the renal failure, but given that she
recovered so quickly and completely it seems that it may have been
due to the infection as opposed to getting into some poison as we
originally thought. We don't know if ferrets get Lyme disease, but
she certainly responded to the most common antibiotic for Lyme. Other
spirochetal infections can cause acute renal failure, eg
Leptospirosis, in other animals. I will be asking a human Lyme
specialist about it causing renal failure when I see her in about 2

I will try and answer any questions, but bear with me as I fell and
broke my wrist looking for Kiera.(NB I strongly discourage trying to
give subq fluids to a ferret with one arm in a cast- still not sure
how I managed it!) Another fyi; I suspect the fact that I raised her
on a partially raw meat diet may have saved her life. She had
certainly eaten something, if not a lot, in those 2 weeks.

Val not a vet, just a very grateful ferret Mom

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