Message Number: FHL4927 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tressie"
Date: 2008-05-12 23:34:38 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Reaction to ear cleaner?

Hi Bonnie,

If you send me an email (or anyone else who would like the paper) I can
send you the report from the National Toxicology Program, Department of
Health & Human Services on the toxicity of mineral oil. I don't have a
web link to it. The paper describes some of the findings when applied
to experimental animals, essentially carcinogenic. Note I do not
personally support the use of animals in scientific experiments,
although I am a scientist. That aside - the article does state
that "Medicinal white mineral oils, which are pharmaceutical- and food-
grade materials, are highly refined and free of all aromatic and
unsaturated compounds. As highly refined oils, these products are not
covered under this listing." Does not state explicitly medicinal white
mineral oils are not toxic - but that statement could be viewed as
implying that.

As my earlier post stated I know mineral oil is considered toxic to
humans, I don't know what it would do to ferrets. My assumption is
that if its toxic to humans it wouldn't be great for ferrets.

A passage from Wikipedia on Mineral Oil:

"If used at all, mineral oil should never be given internally to young
children, pets, or anyone with a cough, hiatus hernia, or nocturnal
reflux, and should be swallowed with care. Due to its low density, it
is easily aspirated into the lungs, where it cannot be removed by the
body and can cause serious complications such as lipoid pneumonia.[2]
While popular as a folk remedy, there are many safer alternatives
available. In children, if aspirated, the oil can work to prevent
normal breathing, resulting in death of brain cells and permanent
paralysis and/or retardation."

Not to say anyone is considering giving it to a ferret internally, my
earlier point in the previous post was that ferrets like to groom one
another by licking each others' ears.

Hope that provides some clarification.


--- In, "Bonswar" <bonnierussell@...>
> Tressie, I did not know that mineral oil was toxic for ferrets. My
previous objection to using
> it as an ear cleaner was simply to prevent such an oily residue left
behind whcih i believe can
> harbor bacteria or future mites. Can you post any links to resources
regarding the known
> toxicity of mineral oil in ferrets? I would love to read more about
> THanks, Bonnie


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