Message Number: FHL7976 | New FHL Archives Search
From: John Rosloot
Date: 2009-02-16 14:54:09 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: What would cause a gurgling sound?

Hi Sheryl.

One thing that can cause a gurgling sound is megaesophagus. Megaesophagus
is a condition where the esophagus is enlarged and fails to force food
properly into the stomach. Often food sits in the esophagus and is
eventually regurgitated.

My ferret Tommy was diagnosed with megaesophagus last year. Unfortunately
it took several months to diagnose, during which time he gradually had more
and more difficulty keeping foods down. It got to the point where he could
not even keep water down and almost died before my vet finally did a barium
x-ray series and realized the cause. I should point out that we had noticed
in surgery a year earlier that Tommy's pyloric valve (the valve leading out
of the stomach) was swollen and had some scar tissue, which we attributed
to a food reaction. We had been assuming the valve was the cause of the
current problem which may have slowed my vet from finding the real cause.

Anyway, at this point we started hand-feeding him canned Medi-Cal Recovery
formula, holding him in an upright position to help the food settle, doing
so for a few minutes until the gurgling noises stopped indicating his food
had settled. We also put him on metoclopramide to improve motility.

It all worked wonderfully, though I had to continue to hand-feed him 5x/day.
Tommy bounced back and regained the weight he'd lost. Unfortunately soon
after *that* he was diagnosed with congestive heart disease. He died of
that a few months later, last September, but the autopsy showed he was
well-fed and his esophagus had improved.

I wonder sometimes if the expanded esophagus pressing on his heart could
have caused or contributed to his heart trouble. If so, then if we had
diagnosed it sooner, would Tommy still be alive? He would have been 7
years old last month.

John Rosloot
With loving memories of:
Buddy, Cassie, Sammy, Buster, Pandora and Tommy


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