ISSN 2398-2985      

Gastric ulceration

4ferrets

Synonym(s): Gastrointestinal ulceration


Introduction

  • Cause:
    • Linked to infections of Helicobacter mustelae Helicobacter mustelae gastritis where gastric and duodenal ulcers are present.
    • Chronic trichobezoars or partial foreign body obstructions.
    • Ulceration because of gastrointestinal surgery such as enterotomy Enterotomy / enterectomy or gastrotomy Gastrotomy / gastrectomy.
    • Long-term use of ulcerogenic medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
    • Eosinophilic gastroenteritis.
    • Chronic bacterial gastroenteritis.
    • Azotemia due to chronic kidney disease.
    • Toxin ingestion.
    • Stress.
  • Signs: signs mostly relating to abdominal pain such as bruxism, abdominal distension, hunched posture, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia.
  • Diagnosis: a combination of hematology, biochemistry, radiography, ultrasonography, endoscopy, fecal analysis and swabbing for specific pathogens or postmortem findings.
  • Treatment: dependent on cause. Initial stabilization, analgesia, nutritional support, analgesia, prokinetics, antacids and rehydration.
  • Prognosis: good to guarded depending on severity and cause of ulceration.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Hypergastrinemia because of H. mustelae infection Helicobacter mustelae gastritis.
  • Ulceration resulting from gastrointestinal surgery.
  • Chronic, partial foreign body or trichobezoar obstruction Hairballs.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Individuals affected by H. mustelae Helicobacter mustelae gastritis may often be chronic carriers of infection and suffer from flare ups during periods of stress and immunosuppression.
  • Poor husbandry:
  • Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as meloxicam Meloxicam may predispose to gastrointestinal inflammation.

Specific

  • H. mustelae infection Helicobacter mustelae gastritis.
  • Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as meloxicam without the use of gastroprotectants and whilst using higher doses.
  • Chronic azotemia due to kidney disease.
  • Raw feeding predisposing to bacterial infections.

Pathophysiology

Timecourse

  • Ulceration takes time to develop, but any signs of gastrointestinal disease in ferrets should be investigated thoroughly.

Epidemiology

  • Female ferrets may be overrepresented.
  • Young, stressed, and immunocompromised animals will be more predisposed to infectious causes of gastrointestinal ulceration.
  • Geriatric animals will be more predisposed to gastrointestinal ulceration as they will often have coexisting conditions such as kidney or heart disease.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Johnson-Delaney C A (2005) The ferret gastrointestinal tract and Helicobacter mustelae infection. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract (2), 197-212 PubMed.
  • Lennox A M (2005) Gastrointestinal diseases of the ferret. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract (2), 213-225 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Perpiñán D & Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Disorders of the Digestive System and Liver. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. CRC Press, USA. pp 159-190.
  • Hoefer H L, Fox J G & Bell J A (2012) Gastrointestinal Diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier, USA. pp 27-45.
  • Burgess M E (2007) Ferret Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Diseases. In: Ferret Husbandry, Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Lewington J H. Saunders, USA. pp 203-223.

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