Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EGE)
This is an internal disorder seen mainly in young male ferrets, characterized by the abnormal accumulation of white blood cells in the intestinal wall and associated lymph nodes. The cause of this disease is unknown.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Chronic weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Dark, tarry stools
- Intermittent vomiting
- Mucus-like diarrhea which may contain blood
Your vet will confirm the diagnosis by taking a full-thickness biopsy of the bowel during exploratory surgery, and also biopsies of the lymph nodes in the abdomen.
This is a baffling disease and one of our boys, Milo, has just been diagnosed with it.
I have no idea if it’s a terminal illness or if he’s over the worst of it, but I will definitely keep a detailed record of his progress (or otherwise).
To find out more, read Milo’s Story.
You can read more about Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis in Ferrets on these sites …
Gastrointestinal Problems in Ferrets (Avian and Animal Hospital)
Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis in Ferrets (PetMD)
Inflammation of the Stomach and Intestine in Ferrets (WagWalking.com)
Diarrhea in Ferrets: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment by Holly Nash, DVM, MS (Scroll down to Eosinophilic gastroenteritis)
Ferret Gastrointestinal Disease by Karen L Rosenthal, DVM, MS
There is another technical pdf called “Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis with Splendore-Hoeppli Material in the Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)” written by G Fox, LS Palley & R Rose which might also be useful to give your vet if he’s not ferret-savvy.
Please download it HERE.
There is a student paper written by Sandra Fazakas about “Eosinophilic gastroenteritis in a domestic ferret“. It’s pretty technical but it might be a good thing to have if you have a non-ferret vet checking out your ferret.
You can download the pdf HERE.
(Last updated November 2019)
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this page is not meant to replace seeing a veterinarian if you think your ferret is ill. It’s only meant to supply general information on a particular illness which was obtained either from personal experience with my sick ferrets, or from books and/or the Internet.