Diagnosis and treatment of esophageal foreign body or stricture in three ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

Joanna Webb, Jennifer Graham, Margaret Fordham, Julie Decubellis, Faith Buckley, Joshua Hobbs, Allyson Berent, Chick Weisse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


CASE DESCRIPTION 3 ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), aged 1 to 2 years, were referred for evaluation of a 4-day to 2-week history of gastrointestinal signs, including anorexia, regurgitation, and vomiting. CLINICAL FINDINGS All 3 ferrets had clinical signs suggestive of dysphagia or esophagitis on initial examination. Esophagoscopy, barium-contrast esophagography, or both revealed foreign bodies with mucosal inflammation in 1 patient and an esophageal foreign body with stricture in 2 patients. One of the latter ferrets had a recent history of gastrotomy to remove a foreign body. TREATMENT AND OUTCOME 1 ferret was treated with endoscopic retrieval of the foreign bodies. Esophageal stricture was treated in 2 ferrets by means of endoscopic balloon dilation accompanied by placement of an esophageal stent in 1 ferret. After resolution of clinical signs and completion of all prescribed treatments, 2 of 3 ferrets successfully transitioned to a regular hard kibble diet; 1 ferret remained on a soft diet for 2 years. All owners were satisfied with the outcome of treatment. CLINICAL RELEVANCE Ferrets are prone to foreign body ingestion. Results of this small series of cases suggested that minimally invasive techniques may be useful for the management of esophageal disease in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Veterinary


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