Vet bills, mixed health messages, and getting ready to say goodbye

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  • #508591
    rachelled
    Participant

    I took my senior ferret in to the vet today. She’d been studying around and falling; rear leg weakness is common in elderly ferrets, but it came on fairly quickly so I was worried.

    It turns out she has a huge mass in her abdomen. They can’t even tell what it is yet… on the x-ray it was just huge and spongy looking. It’s displacing a bunch of other organs. I had thought it was just her winter fat – not this time.

    Her blood tests came back fairly good. Above average for her age even! A little dehydration but not terrible. We purchased some pedialite (sp?) and some protein-packed food, to help her hydration and rear leg muscles.

    We’ve scheduled a follow-up appointment for next weekend… But we just spent $500+ and I feel like we know almost nothing.

    I’m just so confused. She has this huge mass, but her blood work went fine and her energy levels are great, healthy appetite…

    Worse, I don’t know that we’ll be able to afford further treatment. And super worse. If it’s invasive surgery, the vet says elderly ferrets have a very poor recovery rate.

    I knew she’d have to go eventually but she just… seems so healthy. And I feel helpless knowing the cost will only go up from here. I’ve raised her from a kit. I don’t know if I’m ready to say goodbye.

    I’ve had a few ferrets but she’s by far the most long-lived… and I don’t have anyone to talk to about senior ferret health. If anyone has any experience that might help, I would really appreciate it.

    #943452
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    Sorry to hear you’re Furry isn’t feeling well…
    I have a friend who is very experienced with Ferrets and Ferret health and has pretty much seen and dealt with just about everything – she’s owned over 25+ Ferrets over the years, has been a ‘Foster’ parent for several with health issues then finally became licenced to be an official Ferret Shelter Non-Profit in the DC Area.

    If you like, PM me your questions or email and I’ll be glad to either ask her for you, or give her yours, or give you her contact information.

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    SEARCHING...for a Red-eyed Razorback Boar! I'd love to Trade, Buy or... Let's Make a Deal!
    SEARCHING...for the Red-Capped KS Adult Poad - please see my Classified Ad!
    *** Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #943462
    Aggie83
    Participant

    I’m so sorry about your little fur baby. I hope you are able to get some good information so you can be at peace with whatever decisions you come to.

    #943469

    Sometimes letting them live the remainder of there life in peace and you loving them until you have to say goodbye is the best, especially when you tried with the Vet. I have an elderly cat with cancer and the Vet and I decided to let her live for however long, being loved and living life. When I see she is no longer doing well, then I will make the final decision. I hope that helps and I wish your ferret well.

    #943473
    Kathleen
    Participant

    So sorry. Sounds like your ferret lived a long happy life. I have been through this more times than I care to count. Dont let the vets drain you as I know they can. If your fur baby is old and not doing well sometimes if not most its best to let them go. Its difficult as I am sure you know but going into debt is not the answer especially when they have lived the majority of their life. I personally have sunk thousands into a lost cause but of course the vets dont say this as they collect thrir money. My goat was in bad shape and I asked the vet what to do. She gave me injections and meds etc. looking at my little goat in pain from old age and arthrites I said no I wont leave he has to be put down. After doing so the vets helper said I did the best thing she felt bad if I had left with my goat. She said cets cant tell me to put my animal down just push more treatments. I think this is so wrong. 🙁 think of the good life your friend had and how so many other animals need a home. I hope your little one pulls through but know how good a life you gave either way. ((hugs))

    #943478
    Prezaurian
    Participant

    My sympathies rachelled. I hope things turn out well in this situation.

    #943482
    rachelled
    Participant

    That’s the worst part, you know? Without knowing what the mass is, I feel like I can’t make an educated decision about surgery vs. Just letting her live happily for as long as she can…

    Ela, I would love your friend’s contact info. Just warn them about me so it’s not weird getting a message from a stranger out of the blue 🙂 lol

    #943667
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    Hey Rachelled!
    Sorry it’s been a week — last week I was having some fur baby issues of my own… this Friday is going to be Terrible/Hell for me. 🙁

    Anyway, my friend said that she would be happy to help and answer your questions… I’ll PM you her name and email address you can write to. Don’t worry, she’s received several email inquiries about Ferrets and their issues, so no worries about thinking it’s weird or anything by you emailing out of the blue… Good Luck! 🙂

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    SEARCHING...for a Red-eyed Razorback Boar! I'd love to Trade, Buy or... Let's Make a Deal!
    SEARCHING...for the Red-Capped KS Adult Poad - please see my Classified Ad!
    *** Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #943673
    Kujacker
    Participant

    Ferrets are the loves of my life. I even have a ferret tattoo around my wrist and plan to get a sleeve of the little guys. That being said, I just put down one of my ferrets on Friday. I thought he was dehydrated, but they said his heart just wasn’t working. His little heart was slowly failing. He was given to me by a stranger about four years ago (and he said he found him wondering around), so we didn’t even know how old he was.
    It’s never easy. I just went thru this four months ago with my albino girl Kiki. Insulinoma and adrenal.
    My eldest, Reinrassic “Reiny”, can’t use his hind legs well. He’s about 7 or 8. Vet can’t figure out WHY no matter what tests they run.
    It’s so hard. Since a lot about why ferrets are so disease prone is unknown.
    Something about ferrets is so special. I know what it feels like losing them, and I’m going thru it all over right now. I’m sorry.

    Visit my Twitter for my artwork.

    #943678
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    Hey Kujacker, Yes it’s hard to say Goodbye, or even to decide *when* you should say Goodbye, to a Fur Baby – Ferret or other. But 7 or 8 is a good long life for a Ferret, isn’t it?

    I also understand and am going through my own this coming Friday, even if she’s not a Ferret, she’s still a member of our family.

    God Bless to you both.

    *~*~*~* Ela_Hara: The DragonKeeper *~*~*~*
    SEARCHING...for a Red-eyed Razorback Boar! I'd love to Trade, Buy or... Let's Make a Deal!
    SEARCHING...for the Red-Capped KS Adult Poad - please see my Classified Ad!
    *** Come visit me on deviantArt at http://ela-hara.deviantart.com

    #943679
    Kujacker
    Participant

    The ferret I put down on Friday was of unknown age. My 7-8 is still with me 🙂

    Visit my Twitter for my artwork.

    #943687
    rachelled
    Participant

    Thank you so much for all the kind words and thoughts. I’ve been worried and stressed all week, keeping me up and whatnot.

    The ferret I put down on Friday was of unknown age. My 7-8 is still with me 🙂

    I’m so sorry to hear that. 4 Years of good care though! It makes me so glad to hear of successful rescue stories.

    My eldest was born early 2009 sometime. She was my little heartlifter during those long days/nights at college when I’d return at 3 am, tired and missing my boyfriend (now husband, happily) because school kept me from having ANY social life… She’s also the only ferret I’ve had who always loved to cuddle with people, not just when they grew older and calmed down a little. She used to cry when I’d cage her for the night, so I started bringing her to bed with me, too.

    Predictably, from that point on the bed was “hers” and all sorts of toys showed up under my covers all the time, lol. When I bought her a playmate, she made sure he knew that he was NOT ALLOWED in that bed!

    Sorry, I got lost in thought there <3

    ***

    Anyway, good(ish?) news from the vet this weekend!

    The x-rays look the same, but he could not find the mass with his fingers anymore. (And if you know ferrets, you know they are basically made of Jell-o, so he really should have felt it if it were still there.)

    He thinks her intestinal walls are thickened, though… Which could mean a lot of things, or nothing.

    Basically, since she seems active has a good appetite, we're just supposed to keep giving her protein supplemental food and keep an eye on her for now.

    She really is responding well to all the extra "treats," which she loves. She is still stumbling and occasionally falling due to her back leg weakness, but still, I haven't seen her run towards anything this quickly in months! Hopefully the extra protein will help her rebuild that those leg muscles.

    #943688
    rachelled
    Participant

    Oh yeah, here are my little carpetsharks, Fritter (7 years, left) and Moxie (3, right), with my lovely sister somehow managing to hold them still for a moment.

    I have lots of photos of them, but they rarely sit still long enough to capture them together. 😛

    I had a male once, too, but he died at age 2 of extremely early onset lymphoma. The little guy was an angel. <3

    #943689
    rachelled
    Participant

    (Whoops, double-post)

    #943690
    Kim
    Participant

    They are so cute! I hope your senior ferret gets better! I once had a ferret when I was a child and he would run around our basement at night when I was sleeping upstairs. I went to find him one morning and he was gone and I looked everywhere! I then found a window open a tiny bit in my grandma’s bedroom in the basement and it didn’t have a screen and had a chair below he could have crawled up. So I figured he must have escaped out the window when my grandma left the bedroom door open. We looked all over the yard and neighborhood but couldn’t find him. It was so sad. I still have bad dreams sometimes about finding abandoned dying animals outside that house and other places and trying to save them. The house has long since been torn down though and we moved to another part of the city years ago but I still wonder what happened there.

    Looking for rainbow or pink & teal grab bags!

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