Ask the Vet

Small Animal

Spring 2004



Dr. Anna Edling
Horsham Veterinary Hospital
Horsham, PA


Dr. Edling graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and has been in private small animal practice for 32 years. She owns multiple pets and also is a ferret specialist


Young ferrets (under 2 years) have a tendency to get bowel obstructions from foreign bodies. In the past two weeks I operated on two ferrets who were acting normal the day before they came in. The owners both reported vomiting and refusing food. An exam showed they were dehydrated.

One surgery revealed “Scarlet” had eaten the end of a baby carrot, but swallowed it WHOLE. It came out of the intestine easily during surgery and so she did well. The other, “Jake”, had a piece of yellow foam toy lodged in his intestine. Jake had been obstructed longer and so the bowel was not healthy. 2” had to be removed, and the healthy ends re-attached. He is now doing fine.

Ferret-proof your house! No foam toys, no soft rubber toys, no hard fruits or vegetables. They like to chew on rubber shoes, golf club grips, and the foam pads under telephones. Also they will find the bumpers behind picture frames. I had one ferret that ate ear plugs, and another who ate a piece of my child’s rubber ducky!


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