Message Number: FHL6188 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Jessica"
Date: 2008-09-30 16:26:42 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] blood in ferret's stool

I've been a member of the FHL for a little while now, just haven't
posted much (I spend most of my time on here reading through posts
and learning), but I could really use your help now! This is kind of
long, so bear with me. Last month, I noticed one of my ferrets (Zoey)
had blood in her stool. She went to the vets and was originally given
Bene-Bac gel. The vet said it could just be stress of the digestive
tract and that the BB gel would help. A day and a half later I ended
up rushing Zoey back to the vets - I could tell she had lost weight
(she had lost two ounces in 1.5 days, and she's only about 1.5lbs to
begin with). She was also very pale, anemic, and still had blood her
stool - she was very close to death when I got her to the vets the
second time. The vet kept her for six days. She was given Iron and B
Complex (B complex, C complex, B12, Folic Acid, & Methylcarbolamine)
injections daily. She was also treated daily with cold laser therapy
(my vet is very much into the holistic approach, but also
does "raditional" treatments). The laser was to help Zoey create more
red blood cells. The vet also did urinalysis, x-rays (three total),
and eventually (once Zoey was stronger) a blood test. She did a basic
CBC profile and was able to get enough blood to check for adrenal,
which had been a concern of mine because Zoey had some hair loss on
the base of her tail. The vet found nothing wrong - nothing abnormal
showed up in the x-rays, urinalysis came back fine, blood work only
showed that Zoey was anemic but everything else looked normal, and
the Adrenal test came back negative. When I finally got to take her
home, Zoey was pink again, no more blood in her stool, she gained
some weight back, was eating on her own, and was back to being
energetic. The vet gave me an anemia formula (one of her
concoctions), DMG, and Pet Tinic to give her. All of my ferrets were
found to have roundworms the month before and were treated with
Panacur for five days (two separate "group poop" samples done later
on showed that worms were gone). Since my vet couldn't find anything
else wrong, she figured everything that Zoey went through was a
result of the worms.

Well, here it is, a little over a month later and I'm seeing the
blood in her stool again. Sunday night when I scooped their litter
box I noticed one pile of a really dark, almost black, pile of poop.
Yesterday there was more of the dark poop and the last one I saw from
last night looked a little reddish. This morning it's still dark and
a lot more red. She doesn't look pale, she hasn't lost any weight,
she's not lethargic, she is eating (she was eating on her own, but
about an hour ago I noticed her acting like she wanted to eat, but
wouldn't take the food out of her dish, so I put some food in my hand
and she ended up eating a good bit from my hand). She's still getting
the DMG (0.25mL twice daily) and I started giving her the Pet Tinic
again yesterday (again, 0.25mL twice daily). I just can't figure out
what is causing all of this and could really use some help from you
guys on here. I doubt they have worms again (they all put on some
weight after treating them two months ago and there's been no weight
loss for any of them since then, only weight gain, and the only stool
they've come into contact with is that which comes from them). I know
ulcer can cause blood in the stool, but wouldn't an ulcer be seen on
an x-ray? There's been no sudden changes in their diet (they're being
fed kibble now - EVO and ZiwiPeaks - but I was originally planning to
start switching them to a raw diet this week, but decided to hold off
after seeing Zoey's poop). I'm wondering if this could be stress-
related (the blood in the stool as well as the hair loss on the
tail). She seems to be a bit high-stress - she's always hissing at
someone and I've woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of
her hissing at someone for bothering her. Can stress cause these
problems? If not (or even if it can), are there other tests or things
I should have my vet check her for? Also, again, would an ulcer show
up on an x-ray? Right now, because of nothing being found the last
time she went through this, I'm assuming it's stress-related. I have
the Ferret Nation cage, so I put up a ramp so that Zoey could have
one unit all to herself, with none of the other ferrets bothering
her. I don't plan on even letting her out of the cage unless I'm in
the room with them (I let the ferrets have free-run of my bedroom
with access to their cage during the day). Keeping her separate will
also make it easier for me to know just how much food & water she's
eating & drinking and then I'll be able to keep an eye on her poops
and know if/when anything might change. I'm also going to keep giving
her the DMG (like I said earlier, she's supposed to get it twice a
day but I've slacked off a bit the last couple weeks and was only
giving it to her once a day - I'm going to make sure she gets it
twice a day) and I'll also be giving her the Pet Tinic twice daily
and I'll check on her every hour to offer her food and check her

I'm sorry this is so long, I just wanted you to know her "history" -
how it was treated before and what was (or, in this case, wasn't)
found the last time. Any extra info will be helpful. Again, is there
anything else I should suggest my vet check for and could this all be
stress-related? Thank you so much for anything you can tell me!



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