Q: My ferret Batman has been peeing blood for a while. He is his usual energetic self — still eats, drinks and dooks. His urine is brownish though, and our veterinarian tested it and said there was blood in it. We got antibiotics (chloramphenicol) to give him, which did not solve the problem. Our veterinarian then gave us Tribrissen, which we have been giving him for a few weeks now. He still has blood in his urine. Our veterinarian can’t seem to figure out what the problem is. I am from a small town in South Dakota, and my veterinary options are limited. Any advice?
A: What you describe is very unusual. Your veterinarian has taken a proper course in an attempt to treat the most common problem first.
The most common problem in a ferret that would cause blood in the urine would be a urinary tract infection. Your veterinarian used two very different types of medications and since neither seems to have helped, you really need consider diagnostic options. You can continue working with your veterinarian, even if your vet has limited ferret experience. There are organizations, both online and laboratory companies, that would be happy to give advice.
At this point, suggested tests would include a complete blood count, a biochemistry profile, a urinalysis, a urine culture, and finally radiographs and abdominal ultrasound.
Possibilities causes for your ferret’s problem include a stubborn urinary tract infection, a mass, even a result from trauma. In very rare cases, there may be a condition that results in blood loss in the urinary tract without any apparent cause. In these cases, it is important to monitor the red blood cell count to make sure your ferret does not become anemic from the blood loss.