Why, why were no xrays done? You don't know what you're dealing with without them. Maggots? What type of injury are we talking about? This has to be an open wound. I just finished healing a ferret with a broken back....she now has full mobility with a caveat it could have been much worse. Are you expressing her bladder? Is she passing her stools ok? Putting her in a fish tank is going to make her sick, she needs open free flowing air. Being in a tank will make her sick. The playpen is an excellent idea if it's like a Marshals panel pen. Having blankets helps mobility but she needs xrays done to see the extent of the damage. What anti-inflammatories were given? Pain meds? When Lady Lola broke her back, xrays were taken so that we could see the extent of her injury and to see if there was anything out of alignment and pressing on a nerve. There is no chance of healing or acquired mobility if there is bone pressing on the nerves. This needs to be seen to. No, doing an expensive MRI is probably not going to feed you any different information than an xray but you need the basic answers. If repair is not possible by the way this takes months not a few weeks, then a set of wheels might help your wee one fill out her life rather than just dragging herself around. Euel and his wife builds the most beautiful chairs for our mobility challenged ferrets. If your wee girl appears depressed she may be, this is not an easy injury to live with. Watch her muscles, contrary to what your recent vet says, as the muscles start to atrophy there is pain as the surrounding muscle constricts. If your little girl will let you, water therapy is also a great healer. Lady Lola considered it a form of torture so this was not possible with my girl. Good luck ciao
Hey Heather. I’m really glad to see your response. I was actually hoping you’d have advice because I’ve seen you post on other threads. No X-rays were done and I’ve been to the vet quite a few times. She got maggots because I had flies get in through my AC and the vet said they lay eggs on diarrhea which she had after the accident. I caught them quick enough he said. The wound they almost created has fully healed. She has normal poops now which makes it easier to clean her. I was showed how to express her bladder. Meds were given for the first 10 days. Prednisolone and Gabapentin. Was your ferret on meds during the whole healing process? I had her confined in the tank with the mesh top cuz I was worried about maggots happening again and the vet said to confine her. I agree though - I think it made her depressed. One vet told me I should put her down because of her condition and not being happy and the neurologist said I should hold off and follow up with him in 2 weeks on the 14th. Ive tried water and she freaks out in the water. I’ve been trying to massage her and do range of motion exercises.. It’s been 16 days. She’s been off the meds for 5 and now there is a lump on her spine (assuming where the paralysis starts) I brought her to the ER cuz I’ve been overly cautious cuz I know nothing at this point. The vet (not her exotics vet or neurologist) said it felt like a spinal tumor but if she was acting normal (eating drinking motivated to move) then just wait and see what the neurologist says but if it gets bigger or she gets worse to let them know. She even mentioned how she moves her tail by herself and I told her I noticed that too but the neurologist said that was just a reflex. Since then I’ve been up and down because she had good days since putting her in the play pen and then yesterday she had diarrhea that stopped at 2:30 but then was shaking all day and would barely eat. Still drank water though. So this AM I told myself if she was still shaking non stop and not eating I would decide that maybe it’s time to let her go.... low and behold I brought her upstairs to my bed to lay with me this AM - it’s warmer cuz I only have a fan and no AC and she stopped shaking/started eating. Can ferrets get too cold? I had the AC set at 72 thinking it would be normal temp for her.
At this point I don’t know what to do.... do I wait it out? I know you said this takes months to figure out. I have talked to a few ppl who were going to make her wheels but I feel like even with wheels she might not be as happy? I work from home so I’m willing to put in the work with her as long as I’m not prolonging the inevitable. You have much experience in this area so I’d love to know if you think I should definitely wait and get an X-ray (definitely now that you suggested) do the exercises and keep trying water therapy or decide that she’d be happier if I let her go... I’m a fighter usually. I fight for all my animals but this experience I’m struggling with. I think about how stressed out I am over it and how much I cry. Then think to myself I can’t imagine how she feels.
Unfortunately, this is often up to the ferret as to what way this goes. The one thing to remember is that despite having a spinal injury that doesn't mean there isn't any pain and this is something you have to decide as well. Lady Lola was on pred for about 2 weeks (10 days). Her will to survive is very strong and she fought all the way, because of that, I fought for her. She now moves very well. Her left rear is weak so she gets easily off balanced which frustrates her. She runs, war dances and plays. She cries when her daughters beat her up and I rescue her and snuggle her. I would let her be by herself but she becomes depressed when I remover her from their company. That part of it is frustrating. She was a fighter. Lily didn't fight and basically gave up. Her fracture caused a lot of pain and the paralysis got worse as the muscles around the fracture atrophied. I gave her, her release. It was only fair. With Lola I was actually considering a wheel chair because she really wanted to fight. For Lily it was only a passing thought I would not do water therapy if she finds it stressful. If she loves laying beside you, see if she likes laying on a heating pad (I use a bean bag type that you heat in the microwave) and try giving her a massage while the muscles are relaxing. As far as too cold, a healthy ferret finds cooler better. A ferret fighting with nerve damage may not be able to bring their body temp up to proper levels or maintain them, so the A/C may actually not work for her. It's just a thought. This is really difficult for you and her. You're going to have to really consider her needs and be very perceptive. I think you will do a good job Good luck, give her a hug and tell her to be strong. ciao
Thank you so much. I think that’s why I’m struggling because she is still motivated to move and be active. She goes in her tunnel and moves around. When you say lily gave up do you mean she just never wanted to come out or eat/drink? I look at tiny and how motivated she is as a sign that she’s fighting but she’s my first ferret so I have no idea if I’m just being naive. That’s why I greatly appreciate you responding. Tiny was definitely a runner... she really wasn’t active for long even when before this. She loved her tunnel and she loved chasing the roomba. I haven’t let her really go exploring cuz idk if it will hurt her more and I don’t want her belly to get sore (even though I have hard wood floors)
Great idea about the beanbag heater. If she’s in pain would she react? Because when I do the range of motion with her she lays and let’s me do it. During it I tell her what a good girl she is being and she’s doing so good. I moved her back into her cage last night. Even though she only has one level. I was considering making ramps with felt on them? Not sure if that’s wise.
What I found interesting this AM was that being back in her normal cage I put a litter pan in the corner (she’s litter trained) and this AM there was pee and one poop in it. Not sure if that was on purpose or not.
It's a good start. Lady Lola was about a month before she has some control over her bladder. She too was much happier that she'd been returned to her own cage. I removed all ramps, tubes....anything that would allow her to climb. Everything we used kept her as horizontal as possible. Range of motion exercises are passive, her climbing is beyond her ability at this time and may never be a capability. This last week I put a single platform with a ramp to a double level sleeping hammy....this is the first added level since her injury in May. ciao