From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2012-02-04 17:22:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Ferret with Kidney Failure
To: fhl <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Julie Coleman <email@example.com>
Okay, first off, NO raisins, grapes, or currants. Each of those can cause acute renal failure in ferrets, cats, and dogs. The mechanism was still unknown though many possible causes have been investigated.
This seems to be the most recent article on the topic:
Ferret Magazine, when it was in physical print before electronic form had an excellent article by two veterinarians who had treated ferrets with that problem, but I don't know if it was ever put online and do not have time to look.
For testing we found urine concentration to be hugely important for one who had kidney and at first also bladder problems life long. Despite three episodes of kidney illness severe enough to kill (the first of which took a year afterward for him to get back to full activity and 18 months for him to get back to full weight) he survived all until his fourth bout. That is what took him barely shy of sever years of age.
Prompt vet care was essential, and often hospitalization since he refused to keep an IV in elsewhere.
Absolutely essential was a LOT of hydration. He would never keep an IV in longer than two minutes if he was at home so then he would have sub-cu fluids as well as oral fluids. While he was dealing with getting past each the three kidney illnesses he would get at least 150 cc of fluid a day. That is about twice what he got otherwise. Luckily, he seemed to catch on that drinking a lot was good for him and he always was good on that score. He also was typically good for his sub-cus.
Have your vet teach you hands on how you can do sub-cus.
Our ferret also had a condition that required that his protein intake be reduced.
Depending on the cause of your ferret's kidney problem your vet might suggest dietary modifications for the ferret. For some just using a senior diet is sufficient, and it makes sense to add Omega 3 Fatty Acids for many ferrets with kidney problems; you can do that by just piercing and squirting the fish oil from fish oil capsules. They deal with that just fine and our little guy used to get a full capsule of oil regularly. It really agreed with him though he had to be taught at first that he would like it. See:
If there are stones/uroliths:
There are a range of things that can cause kidney problems; for example Vitamin poisoning with D3 or things that can lead to the formation of D3 or act like it can do so (which is one of the reasons Blue Buffalo had recalls with another of the reasons they and a bunch of foods had recalls -- melamine -- also damaging kidneys). Aleutian Disease can damage kidneys. Infections can occur. Blockages secondary to adrenal disease can cause back-up and that can get very bad. You already read about why to never give raisins, grapes, or currants to ferrets, dogs, or cats.
I KNOW I am forgetting something important but for the life of me I can't recall what it is! Sorry. You can use this information combined with what you get in other reputable places and from people who have had good success with kidney problems in ferrets.
Sukie (not a vet)
Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:
"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)
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