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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Due to Lymphocytes and Plasma in Ferrets

Treatment

 

Your pet will be treated as an outpatient, unless she is debilitated from dehydration. Patients that are dehydrated or emaciated may require hospitalization until they are stabilized. Highly digestible diets with protein sources that are different than those they are accustomed to may be useful for eliciting remission. If attempted, choose feline diets since ferrets’ foods have high nutritional protein and fat requirements.

 

Your veterinarian will keep your ferret in the hospital if it is severely dehydrated due to chronic vomiting and diarrhea. There, your pet will be given fluids intravenously. (It should not be fed by mouth while it is still vomiting.) If your pet is severely underweight, your veterinarian may insert a stomach tube.

 

Foods that have been anecdotally reported to elicit remission include feline lamb and rice diets, diets consisting exclusively of one type of meat (lamb, duck, turkey), or a "natural prey diet" consisting of whole rodents. If remission is elicited, continue diet for at least 8 to 13 weeks; this diet may need to be fed lifelong. Anorectic ferrets may refuse dry foods but are often willing to eat canned cat foods or pureed meats.

 

Living and Management

 

Your veterinarian will want to monitor your pet frequently until the symptoms have been resolved. Severely affected patients may require even more frequent monitoring; medications will be adjusted during these visits. Ferrets with less severe disease should be checked by their veterinarian two to three weeks after their initial evaluation and then monthly to bimonthly, or until immunosuppressive therapy is discontinued.

 

Prevention

 

If a food intolerance or allergy is suspected or documented, avoid that particular item and adhere to the recommended dietary changes.

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