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For Ferrets Only
Ask Angela


Possible Blockage:


 

QUESTION:
My son has a ferret which we purchased back in April. I am guessing he is about 9 or 10 months old now, (not sure of his birth date). We noticed this evening that he seemed lethargic. We have taken him out to let him play but he just slowly walks around and then lays down. My son cleans his litter box daily but today there was no solid waste in it and there is usually quite a bit. He doesn't seem to be interested in food at all, although he is still drinking water. I did notice that after he drank water he began to make a strange noise and moving his jaws. It almost seemed like he was grinding his teeth. Do you have any idea why he might be acting this way? Should we try the gerber chicken baby food or do you have any other ideas?

 

ANSWER:
It sounds from your description that the ferret may have a blockage! Do you think he could have eaten any rubber objects such as erasers, tennis shoes, rubber squeaky toys? Is he losing hair, he could have a blockage from a hairball?

 

You need to get him to a vet as soon as possible! If he is grinding his teeth it means he has terrible pain in his stomach and if he has something in the gut it will cause ulcers, plus if it does not pass (which is usually unlikely) he will die a very painful death. Best get him to a ferret knowledgeable vet ASAP.

 


QUESTION:
I have two ferrets and one of them has been vomiting. She vomited yesterday and this morning. She is one-years-old and I'm almost positive that there is some sort of blockage in her system, because she has also been grinding her teeth a lot. I'm going to take her to the vet today. If is a blockage, what are my options in removing it? Is surgery the only option? How much do you think a surgery like this would cost?

 

ANSWER:
It sounds like she could have a blockage, do you know what she could have eaten to cause that? RUBBER products are deadly for ferrets and of course are not digestible, so they can float around causing abrasions to the gut, before causing a blockage, hence the grinding and now the vomiting. Surgery may be required to save her life if you wait too long. Make sure she is defecating, if not my advice would be surgery as soon as possible, IF your vet suspects a blockage.

 

An X-ray will not show what is in there, but will show the gas buildup indicative of a blockage. A barium X-ray might show it, but if you are your vet are sure it could be a blockage, then you may save money and most of all save your ferret's life by just doing the surgery. You may be able to work out payments if it is expensive, I would not be able to quote a price as costs vary from one vet to another. However I would make sure your vet is ferret knowledgeable and has lots of experience, before taking her.

 


QUESTION:
I got a problem with Meko (My ferret) we think she may have eaten some rubber from the inside of a rubber ball. Now all she does is sleep, unless she is out of her cage were she is still quite bubbly. But also her poops have not been the same, she didn't poop at all the other day. They have been small thin poops to what she normally does! We have watered her food down so its softer for her to make sure she has food and liquids. I really want to take her to a vet but I also know I worry way too much sometimes and it could be nothing at all. Your advice would be much appreciated.

 

ANSWER:
If you suspect she has eaten the rubber, then you will need to take her to the vet! Rubber is not digested and can stay floating around in the stomach, causing abrasions that will turn to ulcers. Have you heard her grinding her teeth? Sometimes the rubber blocks the pylorus and the ferret will then vomit. Have you seen her vomit? The rubber can get stuck in the intestines and lodge there, sometimes it will pass, but rarely. Have you tried giving her a ferret laxative or Cat laxative, it may help.

 

An X-ray will show any gas build-up in the ferret's intestines, which would indicate a blockage. I really do hope Meko is okay, make sure she is eating and drinking as usual, no need to soften food.

 


QUESTION:
I have a ferret named Coco and she isn't feeling well. Usually she is very active and trying to play hide-n-seek with me all the time. She is very playful. I noticed yesterday when I got home to let her out of her cage. (this is a normal routine) that she looked very lethargic and confused. All she wants to do is sleep and get into dark places. I told my boyfriend to go and buy pedialyte and chicken baby food to feed her. She is throwing this up?? What to do?

 

I did take her to a emergency vet last night ($80 dollars later) she told me she wasn't sure what was wrong. Her blood pressure and temp came back normal. I cant afford to take her and leave her to run tests. They told me this could cost any where from $400 to $700.

 

Do you have any suggestions for me? I have been holding her and trying to make sure she is drinking and trying to eat.

 

ANSWER:
Ferrets usually vomit if they have an obstruction, could she have eaten anything made of rubber as this will get stuck, therefore the food is not going down. Usually surgery is required to remove obstructions.

 

Did/does she have a temperature? How old is she? Ferrets have to eat every 3-4 hours and if she cannot keep her food down then she is going to need subQ fluids to keep her hydrated.

 

Do you have a ferret knowledgable vet in your area, as it sounds as if she needs help quickly, they should not charge you that much if they know what they are doing! You could also ask to make payments.

 

If she is very young and has a temperature she could have DIM, which is a disease affecting young ferrets and there is no cure---If I can help you further please let me know.

 


QUESTION:
He's only been like this since this morning. The vet told me that there is nothing that he could personally do but for me to go get mineral oil and chicken baby food and get about a tablespoon into his system. And if he hasn't had a bowel movement by morning to take him to a hospital for surgery. I did as the doctor said and he has more fight to him when I go to give him his doses but he's sleeping a whole lot more. Did the vet give me bad advice?

ANSWER:
Hopefully the mineral oil will move what is in his system, a lot of times the stomach can hold the blockage and it may move around letting some of the food pass through. What you need to check is his poops, to make sure he is going, if he doesn't then you MUST take him to have surgery. If his poops come out but are very skinny, then that would mean the blockage is in his intestines and he may still need surgery. For now do what the vet said, if he is pooping then continue to feed him the baby food every 3-4 hours, until you are sure he is okay, or you take him to the vet. Add a little water to the food to make sure he doesn't dehydrate, he will be getting fluids in the soft food, but adding more will help. Make sure you take all that cotton stuff out of his cage so he doesn't chew on any more.

 




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