Message Number: FHL10427 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "manajane21"
Date: 2009-12-05 17:05:11 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Is it safe to give Pepto Bismol and how often?

The active ingredient in Pepto bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. Taken orally, it is metabolized to bismuth (which is what causes stool to darken in color when taken) and salicylate. The word salicylate may sound familiar as it is the chemical the aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is metabolized to in the gut. Since aspirin is not recommended for ferrets, most people tend to stay away from pepto bismol. Dogs can have small doses of aspirin, while cats cannot have any as they cannot metabolize it properly. That being said, I think people tend to err on the side of caution and treat ferrets like they are cats in that respect. I do not know if actual scientific data exists to suggests aspirin (and salicylates in general) is toxic to ferrets.

Please note that most vets will tell you to use kao pectate instead. BUT, what they don't know is that in 2004, kao pectate was reformulated. The active ingredient used to be kaolin pectin (hence the name) but they switched to bismuth subsalicylate. Not sure why. So, if you want a safe anti-diarrhea med for your ferret, you will have to talk to a vet and get kaolin pectin from them, since they do not sell that at human pharmacies. Again, don't be fooled into using kaopectate. Most people do not know of the formulation change.

Just an fyi, if she likes pepto bismol, i bet she would like amoxi (not clavamox). They taste very similar (too me anyways. maybe a ferret wouldn't agree). When I had problems giving carafate, I would mix it with baby food (turkey usually) then have them lick the baby food off my finger. That seemed to help. Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think giving food with carafate is a problem, it is just other meds, as it can alter the adsorption in the gut.

[See Moderator's Note at bottom of message. For ulcers it will
not work well at all if given with food.]

--- In, silverfert <silverfert@...> wrote:
> I know Pepto Bismol was safe to give a few years ago but I read that the formula was since changed and I don't have an old bottle to compare ingredients with. I have liquid Carafate but she does not like it and stresses when I try to give it. I added small amounts of Ferretone and even whipping cream hoping she would like it and that I could eliminate them after a few 'doctored' doses, but she still stresses too much. I learned tonight that she likes Pepto Bismol so I need to know if it is safe to give and if it should be given before each meal.

Lots and lots of tlc and quiet can help ease the stress.

Best of luck and god bless.

> Sadly, the stress from a second round of Clavamox and Baytril (for a previous case of bronchitis and pneumonia and then elevated eosinophils and maybe lungworm) caused her to start grinding her teeth two nights ago. She doesn't like Baytril either. I'm sure several blood draws and x-rays didn't help. Our vet discontinued the Clavamox, Baytril and Panacur and I didn't ask for Amoxi and Biaxin because I don't know if she has Helicobacter and I'm sure giving them would cause more stress at this point.

[Moderator's Note:
Ferrets absolutely can not have acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
each of which is poisonous for ferrets. As far as aspirin goes,
the individuals vary in how well they cope with it. The ones
who tolerate tiny amounts and are prone to thromboses are
actually provided with that med. Some others bleed easily
with it, so if there is a tendency toward bleeding or an ulcer
it could be a bad thing.

If Carafate is being given to have the clay work to reduce
diarrhea then it does not matter if it is given with food, BUT
if it is given to treat an ulcer it should never be given with
food. As an ulcer med an empty stomach allows it to settle
into the injured areas and coat them, working as a bandage
which is its most common use. If given with food it not only
can't reach those locations but it also will coat the food particles
and move out of the stomach with them.

There also should be a space of time between Carafate and
meds, and it can not be given with certain medications at
all. If memory serves Digoxin is one of those meds.

The easiest way to get Carafate into a ferret is to buy the
liquid preparation which comes as a suspension in one
concentration. If the caplets are used remember that it
is manufactured with capillaries so that when placed in a
small amount of water for 5 to 15 minutes (depending on
age of caplet) it will "bloom" and come apart on its own.

We like to give Carafate with cuddle time afterward so that
serves as a safe reward for taking the med.]


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