Saturday, 31 January 2009

Ferret Op

Ferrets you either like them or hate them. I happen to be in the like them camp. They can be smelly but so can a lot of things and they are generally sweet natured. They do not often bite but if they do then those teeth really do lock into their meal, and if it is your finger, their logic is simple, it was there, so obviously it was meant to be their meal.
Ferrets are very playful and can bend into amazing shapes, not to mention get through incredibly small holes.

Ferret Females are called “jills” if you are not going to breed them they should be spayed. If not mated they will remain in season. You can use a male ferret that has had a vasectomy to bring them out but spaying is a lot easier.
If they are left in season they may get infection via the vulva but that is of minor concern. The real danger is she will also continue to produce estrogen which will lead to bone marrow suppression and anaemia and finally death if left untreated.

Tonight we had a very worried owner turn up with her ferret, it had been spayed yesterday and the sharp little teeth had chewed through the sutures. This resulted in the incision opening up and a sloge of fat called omentum hanging out.
The owner, and most people mistake this for intestines. Luckily though animals that break sutures in their abdomen through chewing or other methods do not generally dump intestines out, although l have seen it happen but only a couple of times.
It is almost impossible to use a buster collar on a ferret, if they are going to get their stitches out then they are gonna do it and nothing anyone can do will stop them. In a dog or cat though, if you are given a buster collar, use it.

The owner needless to say was distraught; l calmed her, promised her that the little ferret would be fine it was not as bad as it looked (and no, it really wasn’t too bad) and left her filling in paperwork. I took the little maniac into the back.
She was most unhappy at being restrained especially as she was a meat eater and could smell blood and wanted a snack the fact it was herself was immaterial. One of the nurses tried to sort a buster collar so l could let go the writhing ferret but it was impossible to keep it on her so l held her, in every conceivable shape she was bending herself into.

She was given a GA as soon as all the paperwork was filled in and was thankfully soon sleeping peacefully. I had cramp in my hands. My main worry was the wriggle bot would decide my fingers smeared with blood were a snack and try to take a chunk out of me, to be fair she was very well behaved though.

Within half an hour everything was stitched back inside. This time she had sub-cut (under the surface hidden stitches) so that there was nothing to “worry” on and chew through, and a line of surgical glue was a final layer over the incision. The bruising on the incision site is due to her teeth chomping away and nails scrabbling. She was snuggled into a blanket, given a couple of “hot hands” (silicone gloves filled with hot water) and allowed to come round slowly till her reversal injection was due shortly after l left.

As you can see by her pre op photo l snapped, she is not worried and just wants to know what is going on and who is who. It took about 6 photos to get that one she was so wriggly, l had almost given up.

Hey Where Am l?

Asleep and about to be preped

Omentum Cleaned and Trimmed

All Hidden, Start Resuture

What Incision?



joker the lurcher said...

poor little love. glad your fingers didn't cop it! i love the smell of ferrets - sort of musty honey.

here is a pic of one i took (through the bars of the cage - hence the stripes, but at least they didn't eat my camera!

Vetnurse said...

They are so sweet and inquisitive love the colouring on your one, well the one in the photo :-)

Auntie Jane said...

Another awwwww factor. I've never had a ferret... Had rabbits, mice and guinea pigs... but never a ferret. They do look so sweet.

JuliaM said...

Oh, you can see why the poor owner thought she'd disembowelled herself!

Vetnurse said...

Yes owners do understandably get worried. Luckily the animals generally only have the fat hanging out but it still upsetting for owners.

Hogday said...

Had many a happy day with ferrets. Auntie Jane, you've kept all the things ferrets would love to eat!!!