ISSN 2398-2985      

Anorexia

4ferrets

Introduction

  • Cause: multifactorial. Anorexia is a non-specific symptom of illness in the species and warrants further investigations. Any condition that leads to pain or discomfort associated with feeding behavior or stress, including surgery, and any disease condition associated with nausea, toxicity, gastrointestinal disturbance should be considered. Although ferrets are rarely picky eaters, dietary changes can also lead to anorexia.
  • Signs: lack of interest in eating, change in defecation, weight loss, dehydration, lethargy, signs of pain/reluctance to move, poor coat condition, tachypnea if in pain, abdominal distension/tympany.
  • Diagnosis: thorough clinical history and clinical signs, physical and dental examination, imaging, bloodwork.
  • Treatment: depends on underlying cause.
  • Prognosis: depends on underlying cause, severity, and duration prior to presentation.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Anorexia and Giving your ferret a health check to give to your clients.
 

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Incorrect diet Nutrition overview:
    • Thiamine and riboflavin deficiencies have been reported to cause anorexia in all ages of ferrets.
  • Abrupt changes in the husbandry including introduction of new cohorts and changes to diet.

Specific

  • Specific nutritional deficiencies.

Pathophysiology

  • The causes of the anorexia are related to the etiologies as listed above.

Timecourse

  • The onset of anorexia can be gradual over several days to acute.
  • An anorexic ferret should be treated as an emergency.
  • This species can quickly suffer from hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia.

Epidemiology

  • Most cases presented will be individuals.
  • In breeding colonies or multiple ferret households, infectious agents are always considered, particularly if there is gastrointestinal disease.
  • Stress due to the environmental conditions, social conditions, and dietary deficiencies can affect all within a household or colony.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Orcutt C J (1998) Emergency and Critical Care of Ferrets. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 1 (1), 99-126 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Delaney-Johnson C (2017) Nutrition. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. CRC Press, USA. pp 55.

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