'Fo'..."Assuming the Position!"
- a very non-specific sign - it just means that food
is moving through too fast. The normal brown color seen in feces is the end product of
breakdown of old red blood cells. The pigment goes through a green stage called biliverdin,
before it becomes brown (called stercobilin). So if it is going through at an accelerated rate,
it never breaks all the way down, and has a green color to it.
Anything that accelerates passage of food or causes diarrhea can result in green color - ECE, rapid food changes, lymphoma, just about anything.
| Black tarry poop
- Very suggestive of gastric bleeding and
usually associated with gastric ulcers. You have to have significant bleeding in the stomach
for the feces to turn black. The black color is the result of digestion of blood, which usually
only occurs in the stomach.|
| Bloody poop
- If you see frank blood in the poop - it is
usually either from the large bowel or rectum ( if seen in small amounts) - |
or if there is a lot of blood, it could come from the entire length of the GI tract. Massive hemorrhage is seen either from severe gastric bleeds or shock in ferrets, and as one might imagine, is a really bad sign.
| Birdseed poop
- Generally a sign of maldigestion or malabsorption. |
Also non-specific, it can be seen with any disease that severely affects the small intestine. Most commonly seen with ECE, the individual seeds are usually undigested fat and starch complexes. When you see this, you should consider removing a ferret from kibble and going to a bland, easily digested supplement for a while.
| Pencil-lead thin stools
- Think partial obstruction - usually a foreign body.
"This is an excellent suggestion, I have been fooled. Can also put them in a clear sandwich
bag and examine better, thin sections up to the light and the green becomes apparent. Also, if
really unsure bring the sample to the vet for a quick guiac test for blood.
Picture of "Fo" is courtesy of Jackie Hawley at email@example.com
and a SPECIAL thanks to Jackie Hawley and Christopher Bennett for the pics of the "poop" they so painstakingly got for me to use in this page...