ISSN 2398-2985      

Vomiting

4ferrets

Introduction

  • Cause: gastritis, gastric ulcers, GI foreign bodies, trichobezoars.
  • Signs: nausea, vomiting, lethargy.
  • Diagnosis: clinical history, physical exam (particularly palpation), radiography, ultrasound, bloodwork, biopsy.
  • Treatment: surgery for GI foreign bodies and trichobezoars. Medical treatment for gastritis and gastric ulcers.
  • Prognosis: good with appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Gastritis: vomiting is not particularly common in ferrets with gastritis, although it is more common when the condition is chronic:
  • Gastric hairballs Hairballs.
  • Gastrointestinal foreign bodies Gastrointestinal foreign bodies: vomiting is uncommon, nausea is more common.
  • Ibuprofen Ibuprofen toxicity and paracetamol (acetaminophen) Acetaminophen toxicity toxicoses.
  • Gastrointestinal lymphoma Gastrointestinal neoplasia .
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiotherapy.
  • Use of emetics: ferrets are relatively resistant to the emetic effects of different drugs, but vomiting can be induced consistently with the use of high doses of apomorphine at 0.1 mg/kg SC.
  • Pancreatitis: uncommon in ferrets, but it can develop after surgery for insulinoma Insulinoma.
  • Aleutian disease Aleutian disease: the influence of this virus in the development of clinical signs is not completely understood, but it could contribute to the syndrome of the inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Gastric torsion: this condition is rare in ferrets, but it is always associated with vomiting.

Predisposing factors

General

  • The gastrointestinal system of ferrets, particularly the intestine, is a very reactive organ and tends to develop a significant inflammatory response in front of a variety of causes.
  • Lack of hygiene and overcrowding can predispose to infectious gastritis.

Specific

  • Ectoparasite infection and excessive molting can facilitate the formation of trichobezoars.
  • Ferrets that roam free and unsupervised in the house are more predisposed to gastrointestinal foreign bodies.

Pathophysiology

  • The mechanism of vomiting is similar to that found in dogs and cats.
  • Before vomiting, ferrets can show a behavior characteristic of nausea, which includes salivation, sticking the tongue out, teeth grinding, scratching or touching the chin and mouth with the forelimbs, walking backwards and closing the eyes.

Timecourse

  • Depending on the etiology.

Epidemiology

  • Some conditions producing vomiting, such as epizootic catarrhal enteritis Epizootic cattarhal enteritis, have become less virulent over the last years.

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.
  • Whary M T & Fox J G (2004) Natural and experimental Helicobacter infections. Comparative Medicine 54 (2), 128-158 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hoefer H L (2021) Gastrointestinal Diseases of Ferrets. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E et al. Elsevier, USA. pp 27-37.
  • Perpiñán D & Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Disorders of the Digestive System and Liver. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 159-190.
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Elsevier Saunders, USA. pp 752.

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