Date: 2011-09-10 03:06:43 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] please help!
I am new to this group. I have 3 ferrets, two that I got just about 3 months ago. One of them was vaccinated with his second distemper shot(Diego). The other one has not been vaccinated (Rex). About two weeks ago we started to notice Diego was very lethargic and had swollen back legs. A few days later we noticed that Rex was very lethargic and was gaining weight from it. We took them both to our exotics vet and he did not know what to make of it. He put Diego on Meloxicam for the pain and swelling, and both of them on 2 antibiotics and a stomach relaxer for their intestines. Diego's swelling went down and hasn't come back, and he is a little more active now that he can walk better. However, he has aquired sores on and around his back legs that seem to be very painful. His hair has fallen out all around his sores and he is very itchy so they are not healing properly. Rex's skin is peeling but he has no swelling and no sores yet. He is still gaining weight and will not play. I took them back for a check up with my vet and he said that after doing some research he really believes that they have distemper. Now I trust my vet entirely, but after reading things online I do not believe it could be distemper. Our third ferret is completely and totally fine, and she has had all her vaccines.
The boys have absolutely no discharge from their eyes, nose, or mouth, and seem to be eating, drinking, peeing and pooping completely normal.
I took them to a different vet for a second opinion, and she did a pcr distemper test, I am still awaiting results. My normal exotics vet said that even if the test comes back NEGATIVE for distemper, he still believes that it is distemper.
So at this time, Diego is on Meloxicam, and they both are on two antibiotics, an intestinal medicine, and we are giving them vitamin A (I heard can help with distemper) and ferretone for their skin.
Rex has began throwing up WATER yesterday. When he drinks, he throws up. But I've checked his gums and he is not dehydrated so this must only be happening sometimes. Diego is not throwing up at all.
This has been going on for 3 weeks now, and i brough them home two months ago. Everything that I've read says that distemper shows signs within 12-24 days, and if they had it when I brought them home, it's been much longer than that.
Please help me with ideas about what to do. I do not want to have to put these two juvenile ferrets to sleep unless I have to. They were amazing, playful, happy boys until this began to happen.
they obviously have some similar symptoms, so i think that this must be some kind of virus. They are negative for skin and ear mites, and their feces has been tested for parasites and was negative as well.
Please help!!! Sorry this is so long, I have not been able to find a SINGLE site that has these symptoms combined together.
[Until you find out otherwise - assume it is distemper! If an experienced exotics vet believes it is, the probability is hight that it is. Let us hope he is wrong, and I am certain he would agree. But until the results are back, take measures in accordance with distemper. Isolate the third ferret from them. Enter distemper into the search field and read all of the latest posts related to that. There are known treatments available now, although not effective in every case. But there is hope! Moderator (TD)].
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