Message Number: FHL13210 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tressie"
Date: 2011-05-01 10:06:23 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: "Gasping" and "gulping" sound

Hi Connie,

The ferret in this area with mycoplasmosis was probably exposed to it as a young kit - we just don't know for certain where she acquired it. The odd sounds she made were the only clinical symptoms she initially manifested and continues to when she's having an episode. Because it wasn't the dry hacking cough typical of mycoplasmosis, the vet didn't initially consider it as a primary cause, although hadn't ruled it out altogether. Apparently, the very young or immunocompromised are most vulnerable to acquiring it.

Excellent post by Kevin Farlee on mycoplasmosis and his experience of it in his shelter:

My exotics vet had attended a session at a vet conference 3 years ago, where it advised NOT to clean ferrets ears because it only irritates them and may lead to infection. He said that the ferret's ears are designed to clean themselves and unless they develop ear mite infestation they are best left alone.

I posted his recommendation on the FHL and have shared that information with other ferret folk - but old habits die hard and people continue to vigorously clean their ferrets ears. I have never cleaned my ferrets ears since my vet told me to stop and if they get redness or lots of black discharge I take them to the vet. Each time its been mites and not a case of 'dirty' ears!

Sampson had a host of illnesses and grew sicker with time and was euthanized 2 years ago. Necropsy showed advanced kidney disease and adrenal carcinoma, amongst other things. I suspect much of his poor health was attributable to the fact that he was fed fruit loops as a primary diet for the first 3 years of his life!


[Presentation slides from expert pathologists
and clinical veterinarians:

Some past vet posts on the topic, one with
a link:

Also from Kevin:

Not from a vet but contains an article's
info so that can be searched down:

This is a vet post but from some time ago
before more was learned:

Note that information changes constantly
over time as more is learned and as
circumstances change.

-- Moderator]


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