Enlargement of Esophagus in Ferrets



The major goal of therapy is to treat the underlying cause. However, it is also important that ferrets with compromised feed intake are meeting their daily nutritional requirements (70 kcal/kg body weight per day; more if the ferret is sick). Depending on the underlying cause of the problem, surgery may be employed. For instance, in cases of a foreign body, it will be removed immediately to provide relief and prevent further complications.


Aspiration pneumonia is another life-threatening problem that requires immediate hospitalization, where oxygen therapy, antibiotics, and other medications are used to treat the condition.


Living and Management


Follow the guidelines related to care and nutritional requirements for your ferret. Recumbent animals may require extra care; soft bedding and turning the animal every four hours is essential. If your ferret is not able to take feed, your veterinarian may pass a feeding tube directly into the stomach for feeding purposes. He or she will teach you how to properly use such equipment, though it is important to clean the tube after each use. Regular weighing of your ferret is also required to ensure it is at an adequate range (not losing too much, but not too heavy either).


For patients able to take solid food, special arrangements are required for correct feeding to prevent aspiration pneumonia. These animals are kept in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes after eating or drinking, and both food and water bowls need to be elevated (45 to 90 degrees) from the floor.


You will need to visit your veterinarian for regular follow-ups to evaluate your ferret and treatment progress. Chest X-rays are repeated if aspiration pneumonia is suspected.




Esophageal obstruction may be prevented by safely securing rubber toys, bones, garbage, and other choking hazards out of your ferret's reach.