Message Number: FHL13319 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tressie"
Date: 2011-05-28 22:02:28 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Arthritis in ferrets?

Metacam (Meloxicam) and Rimadyl (Carprofen) are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). This from 'Pain Management in Ferrets' (

"...close monitoring of the signs of side effects on the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys of the ferret is recommended when long-term use of NSAID is instituted ...NSAIDs should be used with care for long-term treatment and are contraindicated in pregnant animals; animals with hepatic, renal, or gastrointestinal disorders; and/or animals that are in shock. Contraindications for the use of NSAIDs are critically ill patients, preexisting renal disease, hypovolemia, bleeding disorders, and expected severe blood loss during surgery (p. 109)."

Cardiomyopathy is common in middle-aged and older ferrets, however, it can progress to more serious heart conditions. I am presuming your vet is not concerned at this time and will closely monitor him, i.e., listen to his heart each time you bring him for a vet visit. Some things to be on the look-out for that would signal his enlarged heart is becoming more of a problem:

- ensuing general weakness including hind-end weakness
- increased respiration rate
- swelling abdomen (ascites)
- develops a cough

An ultrasound would be another diagnostic to consider if you are concerned.

And I would rearrange his environment so that he doesn't have to climb or further stress his arthritic knee.



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