From: "Connie C"
Date: 2011-04-28 13:45:01 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] "Gasping" and "gulping" sound
Katy, approximately 18 months and 24 oz., believed to be a Marshall ferret, presented with a gasping and gulping sound in February. Her initial vet exam showed a scratch in her throat and inflamed tissues there. She was prescribed amoxidrops and I was told to keep her on soft foods. Toward the end of the bottle of amoxidrops she managed to get into the dog's food and without my knowledge (Katy is quite the accomplished climber and something of an acrobat) - I caught her under a shelf happily crunching away at her cache of purloined treats. Her throat got worse where up until that point I believed it had been getting better. I called the vet's office and was able to pick up another half bottle of amoxidrops without another appointment.
When Katy's gasping and gulping did not go away after the second bottle was finished, Katy was ushered into the vet's office again. Her throat was still inflamed so this time the vet prescribed Baytril. Katy got 1/4 tablet 1x daily for three weeks. At the end of that time there was still no improvement.
Katy went back to the vet. Katy had lost 2 oz. This time the exam was not performed in my presence so I imagine they restrained her very well and were very thorough. When the vet approached me with Katy she told me that Katy's ears looked really bad and that one was red and sloppy all the way down. We discussed that it's possible that the ears had been draining into Katy's throat and causing the irritation there and that the amoxidrops and Baytril had caused temporary systemic relief but had been unable to cure the infection. Everything seemed to fit. She prescribed daily application of Otomax to each ear followed by a 10 second massage.
Then I asked about allergies in ferrets. She wasn't sure it was something ferrets were prone to having trouble with, but couldn't rule it out and recommended .15 cc of children's Claritin.
Here's the BIG question, and forgive me if I've given too much background info: Children's Claritin has, among other things, sucralose in it. I won't ingest artificial sweeteners, and I don't feel right about giving any to my ferrets, but if the Claritin is going to help her is it safe?
Or, more to the point, do ferrets even have problems with allergies?
Connie in OK
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