Message Number: FHL12741 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "SukieC"
Date: 2011-01-09 19:02:21 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: All my ferrets suddenly coughing!

Do NOT use any of your human
medications unless your own
treating vet says that you safely
can before you try them. There
have been too many poisoning
scares recently, including with
herbal and over the counter meds.

(Poison Control contact information
is in recent posts and most easily found
using the separate FHL archives. You can
link to that from the homepage of the
FHL, by using the expert post links
in my message, or by using my sig lines.

This time of year that always raises flags
about them having been exposed to
influenza. If one of you has some
resistance to that strain of influenza
you could have it and pass it without
feeling particularly "off". On the
other hand it is possible that someone
who came to that pet store exposed
your new one to influenza or to a bacterial
sinus infection.

While influenza can pass uneventfully in
ferrets some wind up with secondary
infections and even pneumonia.

You really should take ALL in to the
vet, not just one. You don't know
who might show signs of being the
worst off.

Also consider things like the level of humidity
in your home. Is it very low which could
irritate their respiratory tracts?

On a very rare basis in the FML (Ferret
Mailing List) and here there have been
situations in which a ferret's coughing,
or drowsiness, or even sudden death
has turned out to be related to things
like a crack between a place they
like to den when out and a garage where
someone foolishly warms up a car in an
enclosed space.

Ferrets do not get rhinoviruses which are
the primary cause of "colds", and I have
done a bit of checking in PubMed because
ferrets are so often the animal of choice
for studying respiratory ills, but they
just don't seem (so far) to get "colds"
from any type of virus so there are still
no studies listed in that fine resource
using them for that purpose.

See these ferret veterinary pathologist
expert posts:
and there are more.

They do get bacterial sinus infections, they
do get pneumonia, they do get influenza, etc.

We have personally had a ferret whose
pneumonia and pleurisy could not be heard
by stethoscope, but she was someone who
was letting us know she was ill and she was
coughing which was uncharacteristic for her.
The x-ray showed that she was in terrible
danger, so in her case a prompt x-ray and
two antibiotics given simultaneously saved
her life.

I lack time to check further for you but in
there is likely to be a section on some ferret
respiratory illnesses in one of the options.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:

"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)


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