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Ferrets/Ferret Enlarged Lymph node



We have a ferret named Roni who is 1 year old.  A little over a month ago, Roni became ill and started vomiting.  We immediately took him to the vet.  The vet cut him open because she thought it was a blockage.  It turned out that he had an enlarged lymph node and there seemed to be a pus around it.  The vet took a biopsy.  The results came back as MRSA.  She put Roni on chloramphenicol, which seemed to work for about 3 weeks.  He was back to his normal self, although he slept a little more than normal.  3 days before the medication was to end, he started vomiting again.  We took him to the vet and she said that the chloramphenicol did not work, although the lymph node was a little bit smaller.  She did an ultrasound and blood work and found that the mass/lymphnode is still there.  She was not sure what is wrong so she contacted a specialist who said she didn't know either.  Her best guess was lymphoma.  She made one last effort and posted pictures to a database to see if anyone would respond and we are waiting to hear from that.  His heart and lungs are good, but he still vomits every couple of days.  His appetite is slowly decreasing.  He gained .4 pounds from his first vet visit to his most recent.  We are still waiting on the blood test results.  We don't know whether we should try prednisone in case it's lymphoma or try another antibiotic in case it is an infection.  Any insight is much appreciated!


Dear J.T.

I've been through the same thing with two of my little ferrets Joie and Rosie.  My vet immediately put them on liquid prednisone.  Sadly it only worked short-term for Rosie but it worked wonders for Joie.  With careful diet, prednisone and frequent checkups, she lived to be almost nine years old.  Yes, she was very old, lost most of the hair on her little tail, and became very feeble in those last days. After much soul searching, we went ahead and had our vet put her down.   Please, I'm not saying prednisone will work as well for your little guy, but I think it's worth a try.  Just try not to be disappointed if it doesn't work.  Know that you've done all you can - And, your little guy was well taken care of and loved.

Note:  Because Joie was very thin, in order to increase her body weight, I gave her a teaspoon of baby food (Gerber Junior Ham & Gravy) each morning along side her breakfast.  I did quite a bit of research on the baby food beforehand. The prednisone may cause weight gain as well, but I wanted to make sure she was getting enough nourishment.  Don't forget the vitamins, they are very important.  I use FerretVite.  Don't cut the treats out entirely, but offer them sparingly.

I wish the very best for you and your furry little friend.  Stay optimistic.



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Janet Russek


I can answer questions re: Feeding(keeping that body weight up) General Care, Safety, Behavior, Best Cages, Proper Toys, Dangers to Ferrets (ferret proofing your home), Play Area/Room Suggestions.


I've raised ferrets very successfully for approximately twelve years. I usually kept three at a time. I presently have one. I've tried a variety of cages, habitats, toys, treats.

Highschool grad with some college.

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