It was Friday, March 27 (2015) when I noticed that Dash’s poop had a greenish tinge to it. That alarmed me, as when Snoopy had her blockage, her poop was greenish and thin.
I kept an eye on his poop, hoping that it might be strange because he had a slight bout of gastro but as the poop looked thinner and thinner over the weekend, I was convinced he had a blockage. The question was how? I am super careful around the house that there is nothing which the ferrets could chew on that would hurt them, so it was a mystery how he could have got this blockage.
My regular vet only works a couple of days a week so I got Philip, my husband, to take Dash to a ferret vet I hadn’t been to before.
They took blood tests and an x-ray and said the x-ray was inconclusive. It looked like Dash’s gut was twisted around something, but they also mentioned that it could be lymphoma.
I discounted the lymphoma as I’d been putting supplements into the ferrets’ smoothie on a daily basis to keep anything bad at bay!
Dash needed an ultrasound so that was booked on the Thursday but we had to take him to their other clinic, in the southern suburb of Murdoch. I had a doctor’s appointment that same morning so poor Dash had to spend about 2 hours in his carrier in the car before we reached the clinic. He had lots of water to drink but we didn’t think it would be good to feed him before he was put under for his ultrasound.
We dropped him off at the vet’s and went for lunch as we were told the procedure would take about 45-60 minutes.
Just as we got back to the clinic Philip had a missed message from the vet, so we went into the waiting room. The vet came out and told us to come into the room where Dash was waiting for us in his carry cage.
It WAS lymphoma and it was inoperable, so there was nothing the vet could do to help extend his life, just prescribed 0.4ml pred to take daily ?
I just burst into tears. Dash is our youngest ferret – not yet 5 years old – and he had this terrible disease. I was shattered! I was so sure that by giving my guys good supplements in their smoothies I was preventing them from getting the usual cancers and it didn’t work ?
The vet was very kind – she suggested that if I hadn’t added the supplements then perhaps Dash would have had the symptoms earlier. I don’t know … I’d like to think she was right but who knows ?
So, the prognosis was that Dash has 3 to 12 months, depending on how well I can keep him.
Like I said at the beginning of this page – older ferrets can suffer from this disease for a while then the symptoms appear suddenly. Well, that’s absolutely true!
It was overnight that he changed from a strong happy ferret to a sick boney ferret! It was just so depressingly incredible ?
So, I have added Turmeric and Boswellia serrata into the smoothie, as well as continuing with Black Seed Oil and Astaxanthin and I put Dash in front of the bowl to lick the smoothie every hour. He’s always happy to lick the smoothie when I do that but he doesn’t seem to think of going to drink it by himself.
I *think* he’s getting stronger. I was watching him walking through the house and his back legs weren’t sliding around like they were after Easter so fingers crossed that the supplements are helping.
I’m also making chicken soup with lots of supplements for him, and the girls, including the milk thistle I got from the vet, so I hope he’ll like that too.
I’ll update this over the next few weeks or months so do stay tuned if you’re interested in what it’s like to live with a ferret with lymphoma!
May 11, 2015
Sadly my boy didn’t get to 3 months even. He seemed okay on Saturday, always happy to drink the smoothie when I put him in front of the dish every 20 minutes. But Sunday he wasn’t interested and seemed to object to my bothering him.
Monday I saw him lying with his legs stretched out and when I put him on the floor after giving him his pred, I was horrified to see that his back legs wouldn’t work and he was crawling on his front legs into our wardrobe ?
Dash went on his last visit to our vet and is now buried in our back yard with the others. I hope Spook and Angus have shown him around their patch of Heaven and have introduced him to all his past brothers and sisters ?
Vale, my little man ?
These are the supplements I put in the smoothie I gave Dash …
1/2 cup of No Lactose milk
1 free-range egg yolk
0.05ml (1/8th teaspoon) Black Seed Oil
0.025ml (1/16th teaspoon) Organic Turmeric powder
0.025ml (1/16th teaspoon) Boswellia Serrata powder
2 drops of Astaxanthin
3 drops of Milk Thistle
1 capsule Red Krill Oil squeezed into the milk
Another tip for getting liquid out of capsules. Get a small piece of cardboard and push a thumb tack into the middle of the cardboard, put a piece of scotch tape on the bottom so that your pointy end is secured. Therefore you can push your capsule down on the pointy bit of the thumb tack and squeeze the contents into the container with the no lactose milk ?