Ferrets' blog

A blog with news about my ferrets: Tata, Izzie and Liira. There will also be reminiscense about Tenchi, Adric, Ker Avon, Ryo-Ohki, Nyssa, Lady Ayeka, Romana, Pertwee, Podo, Kodo, Ella, Zephyr and Chin Soon, all of whom are gone now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ella and Chin Soon's Latest Vet Visit

The ferrets and I took a trip to see Dr. Lauren Powers at Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Huntersville a week ago Monday. No, nothing was wrong with any of the ferrets as far as I could tell. They have all seemed blissfully healthy. At their last visit Dr. Powers commented that Chin Soon really needed her teeth scaled. Ella is also somewhere close to eight years old if she's not there already and it's advisable to have checkups and blood work done twice a year for geriatric ferrets. Zephyr came along for the ride since I thought that would be better for her than staying alone in a cage all day.

The good news for Chin Soon is that her fasting blood glucose was a nice, normal 96. This is great news nine months after insulinoma surgery. She also now has nice, clean teeth. The bad news is that her rear teeth have root exposure and pockets which could become infected. The recommendation is that she have those teeth extracted. For right now we're starting antibiotics. I really, really trust Dr. Powers but I was pretty surprised (OK, shocked) by this recommendation. I need to look into it more before allowing her to do something like this to Chin Soon. I know that for human dental care preserving the teeth and doing everything possible to avoid losing them is paramount.

I discussed my concerns with Dr. Powers and her suggested course of action made sense to me. We'll continue brushing Chin Soon's teeth weekly with her Dora the Explorer toothbrush and see if there is any improvement now that the tartar has been removed from her teeth and with antibiotics. If not we'll have to go ahead with the extraction in the next couple of months. If she improves then we can avoid that.

Ella's weight is down about 100 grams over the past seven months but otherwise Dr. Powers says she's in great physical shape. Pending blood work coming back normal she got a clean bill of health. Based on her initial exam it seemed that Ella is in fantastic shape for an eight year old ferret. It's also been more than five years since Dr. Powers did her adrenal surgery and there is still no sign of recurrence or really any health problems at all. Ella does have some tartar on her teeth so we're going to start brushing hers as well. The plan was to her teeth cleaned when we bring Chin Soon in again but that is now on hold.

Later that evening we got a call with results from Ella's bloodwork. Unfortunately a few values were off, including a blood glucose of 77. Because of the other blood values Dr. Powers and her new intern (who's name escapes me at the moment) are thinking some sort of infection or inflammation. We're taking her back to Huntersville for more diagnostic work next week: abdominal ultrasound and urinalysis. Hopefully that will tell us what's going on.

This was a bit of a surprise because Ella showed no symptoms whatsoever of illness. She plays just like always, has a great appetite and absolutely normal output. I guess I just got a great example of why vets do recommend checkups and bloodwork every six months on the old guys to catch things and treat them before they become serious. Some of the possibilities listed are easily treated with medication while others are more serious. Here's hoping it's one of the easily treatable things.

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