Message Number: FHL12132 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2010-08-28 05:49:01 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Digestive problem

Hi, Jeff, and everyone else,

On 8/27/10, innerharmony <> wrote:
> Is it possible for a ferret to stop producing, or reduce his production of,
> the bacteria or enzymes that are needed for proper digestion? If so, what
> might be the possible causes?

Yes, it's possible. I had a ferret named Pertwee who went through a
round of unexplained weight loss which turned out to be chronic
pancreatitis. The solution was to mix Viokase-V powder (pancreatic
enzyme supplement) into soft food. We used Bob Church's Chicken Gravy
which, fortunately, Pertwee loved. That stopped his weight loss and
he actually regained some weight.

At the time there was no test for pancreatitis in ferrets so this was
simply a very educated guess by our vet. Thankfully he was right and
Pertwee was fine as a result. I don't know if a test exists today.
The Viokase-V was expensive but it kept Pertwee going for the rest of
his life. When we finally lost him a couple of years later it was an
unrelated issue.

The usual disclaimer applies: I am not a vet and have never even
played one on TV. You asked if enzyme deficiency was possible and I
have one example where it is. That example may not apply to your
ferret. It may be worth discussing with your vet.

All the best,
Caity and the terrific trio
Ella, Zephyr and Chin Soon


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