Message Number: FHL12486 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "lprimavera2000"
Date: 2010-11-17 22:57:06 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] My story!

Hello all! I am a new member and would like to share with you my story, which has instilled in me a new obsession with ferret health.

I have had ferrets for four years now. Ophelia, from a pet store, has always been feisty and hyper, somewhat small. Watermelon I obtained when I was petsitting, and his owners never came back for him. Both have always been healthy and vibrant, say for a spell of depression during a move. They eat evo ferret regularly, ferretvite supplement, a freezedried chicken and 'evo wild cravings for cats' as treats.

This last week, however, has been hell! Sunday, Ophelia was suddenly acting strange, after having slept more than usual. She wouldnt come when called, then slowly crawled out to me, super lethargic and strange, only wanting to curl up and sleep, no interest in treats or any activity. I took her to the emergency room at a specialty center. After taking her home, I ended up taking her back again after she vomitted and shook violently, and she was visually dehydrated and very skinny. Her bowel movements were pustles of blood and puss now.

There she stayed getting iv fluids for two nights, antibiotics and another med. But they couldnt get her to eat anything, even by force-feed. This is where it was evident that only I could nurse her back to health and the vet techs there just didnt understand or werent capable of giving her constant bedside care. I took her home last night around 6pm, where she vomitted once more upon arrival. I was so sad, as she looked so sad and unhealthy. I force fed her small amounts, every hour or two. She would only tolerate a mix of Gerber chicken and ferretvite supplement with a tiny bit of pedialyte and ground kibble. She tolerated more each time, around a teaspoon. By morning (I stayed up all night) she would lick it off my finger, no force-feed. By now there was no more blood in her bm, just a little puss, then, a very loose dark stool. Then, suddenly, around noon, she voluntarily drank water! Then mroe activity, a little more food mix, and she was at her usual bowl, interested in
her kibble! Huge improvement. Before, at the vet clinic, she looked so bad, I thought she was going to die, she had no life in her eyes, barely alert.

I will keep at nursing her, getting calories in her, as she is still pretty underweight, but were making remarkable progress already! Shes more alert and interested. We think it was a lower gi ulcer with infection. I feel somewhatripped off because although she did benefit from iv fluids, she went downhill by not eating anything for so long there at the vet clinic. I paid 600 for full bloodwork which was normal, fluids, antibiotics, and two overnights. She threw up the meds they gave her too. But I got her better, eating in 16 hours.

This is my story, and first time nursing an ill ferret. Watermelon, my other guy, is fine and healthy. If anyone has any comments, suggestions, or advice, please share!! Thanks for letting me share

[That sounds like a very bad infection.

The time on IV would have saved her
from dying of kidney damage from
dehydration, but it would be a good
idea to have the vet check the urine
concentration because if there is
kidney damage you may want to
alter the ferret's diet to always get
in a bit more fluid and to reduce the
phosphorus intake.

Sometimes with such ferrets it is
necessary either for the hospital to
force feed, or for the people to come in
while the animal is on IV and provide
finger feeding, or in rare situations
with rare clients and rare ferrets to
have the IV at home.

By force feeding if you mean things
like syringe feeding do always remember
that NEEDS to be learned hands on from
a vet tech or a veterinarian because if
done wrong it can cause aspiration
pneumonia. Whenever finger feeding
can be done instead that is far, far better.
Force feeding has its place but it also
comes with inherent risks.

-- Moderator]


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