Message Number: FHL14229 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "WendyC"
Date: 2011-10-27 16:05:23 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] I need help/advice/opinions

Hello all! My story is a long one but I'm going to try and sum it up quick. My ferret (Dora) in 6 years old as of July.

In August I heard her coughing all of a sudden and noticed she had lost a little weight. She went to the vet and was diagnosed with a heart condition. She was put on steroids, mucus meds, heart meds, and dehydration meds.

Things went down hill for a good few weeks and it was pure torture at night. She would move a lot trying to find a better way to sleep. She never gasped for air but it was a little hard also, her tail is bald but just on the side that hits the she drags it. So finally she seemed to be a bit better.

She's never been one to play unless really provoked (I got her at 2 and I believe she was neglected) of course she hasn't played since Aug. which is heartbreaking. Now though, things seem to be going more downhill.

I have noticed she has started using the bathroom where ever she pleases. I noticed her poops were tiny so i gave her ferretlax and I'm hoping the combination of ferretlax and dehydration meds make her have to go and go right then. Today thankfully she did poop where she normally does but again the poop was tiny! Also, she has a rash on her belly and tail and went to the vet yesterday. She told me to up the steroid and then slowly take her off of it all together (which I already should have done. I started that higher dose yesterday and it seems to have made her feel worse.

I'm kind of all over the place here...a few weeks ago she started having problems drinking water. Well actually it was right after she was first sick in August but now it's to the extreme. She keeps dipping her nose in the water and gets choked. The vet thinks she's going senile but I've never heard of that in a ferret, doesn't mean it can't happen though. I have a water bottle, plate of water, bowl...nothing works.

Everyone is suggesting Insulinoma and I called the vet to discuss it with her today and she doesn't think it is. She said even if it is, she doesn't think she can survive the surgery. Keep in mind I live in Germany and I can't find a ferret specialist here. We are moving back in Nov. and I just fought so hard to get Delta to approve her to fly in cabin with me. If she's going downhill now, moving will be so hard on her especially since we will be visiting family for a month and a half before we move to our new place. I'm very scared. i will list her symptoms below since this is kind of all over the place.

-Heart condition-treated with meds
-Respiratory infection-treated with meds
-Tail missing hair on one side
-Weight loss-still loosing weight
-Not being able to drink water
-Sometimes pooping/peeing anywhere
-Stares at her food for a few seconds before dazing
-It seems when I put her down, her back feet can't get a good grip for a second...we have tile floors everywhere
-Last night and today her little body jerks or twitches like she's in a deep sleep but she's not. It does it quite often, maybe every few minutes although at this moment it seems to have stopped for now.
-Today we took her outside and she was a little out of it and seemed to have a bit of trouble walking at first.

I think that's it. I just need some advice. I don't know what exactly is wrong and I'm not sure what to do. I can't really find a specialist until the very end of Nov. but I don't know if she will last that long. Also, when we are visiting family, I can't be with her every second and my biggest fear is her dying alone. I am very attached to her!

[Did the vet do a blood glucose test? If not, I would ask to have that done right away and that will tell you whether she has insulinoma. If she does then she needs to be treated for it. And that does not necessarily mean surgery, it can be medically managed with medications like prednisolone and diet. How was her heart condition diagnosed i.e., x-rays, ultrasound, etc. - Moderator (TD)].


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