Originally Posted by kemasa
Thanks for the help! I have cut out the Ensure. Your comment about the Pedialyte leads me to another question - I was experimenting around with the different flavors, and he really likes the fruit one - now, that has more sugar than the unflavored kind (but he doesn't enthusiastically lick that up!)- do you think I should cut out all kinds of sugar, or is the danger of this kind of sugar in the flavored pedialyte minimal and I can safely give as much as he likes? (I do so hate depriving him of anything he enjoys so much!)
Some other comments of yours has also reaffirmed my belief that the vet I went was not very good. I too didn't understand how a blockage in the intestines or stomach would be causing diahhrea, if there was a blockage he wouldn't be going at all- but I trusted her, and when she wanted to do x-rays and I let her. This certainly wasn't a bad idea, it's just not where I would have thought we'd start. I thought she would at least examine the stool (which I brought in) to rule some basic things out- but she did not. She wants to run blood tests now, how do I find a vet who I'm more in sync with (one that would do things like checking the stools for those things you mentioned - by the way, what are giardia or coccidia?)
I have not noticed any teeth grinding, although he does occasionally paw at his mouth when eating and acts as if he's having difficulty chewing and / or swallowing. I thought perhaps he had a bad tooth and didn't like to eat his hard food (that's something else I didn't think of at the vet's, but she didn't check his mouth either), which would explain the weight loss. But would like explain the diahhrea? What does the pawing usually mean?
I don't know what caused the diahhrea - I don't know if was a bug or what, but he seems to be getting continually better. I'm glad to see that he has a lot more energy than he did over the weekend (he would sleep constantly unless I woke him to feed and water).
Thanks for all the helpful advice and good thoughts.
I think the sugars in Pedialyte is minimal in comparison to other things he might/could eat. I wouldn't worry too much about it. How much is he getting? (my apologies if you already mentioned how much)
If you're not comfortable with the vet you're using or don't feel that they're very ferret knowledgeable, it's probably best to find a new one. Or you'll probably be spending a lot of wasted $$$ on someone you don't feel comfortable with and a lot of unnecessary tests and/or procedures, or God forbid one of your ferrets ends up getting misdiagnosed by this person. Where are you located? I might be able to find a ferret knowledgeable vet near you....
Coccidia and giardia are parasites that can cause diarrhea and other assorted gastrointestinal problems. Here are links to information on both of them...
Pawing at the mouth can be a sign of nausea/stomach upset. Though, some ferrets do eat far too fast for their own good and end up getting food lodged in the roof of their mouth, and "paw" at it to get it out of there. So that may be what you're seeing, especially if he only does it when eating--if you see him pawing at his mouth in the middle of eating, then continue chewing, it's probably a piece of kibble stuck up there. Ferrets with narrow jaws tend to have this happen quite often. If he's pawing at his mouth when he's not eating, it's probably stomach upset, and something else would be going on. Try gently opening his mouth and checking for any abcesses on the gums or tongue or any ulcerations.
I'm glad to hear that he's improving. If he's lost a lot of weight, you can help him put some of that weight back on by supplementing his diet with A/D or the baby food and mixing in a little heavy whipping cream.
I hope your baby continues to improve....please keep us posted and if you need more help