Many of you visiting Little Paws Ferret Rescue or coming to our PR events in Pets at Home, Byker, will have met the wonderful Howl. Last year he was surrendered to the rescue with his sister, Moon, at around six months old when his owners were no longer able to keep them due to unexpected personal issues which left them homeless.
Howl and his friends Moon and Wilson have been in training to join our PR team in the rescue. He gives special cuddles and helps us to change people's opinions of ferrets. This helps us to raise vital funding for his friends in rescue. Everyone who meets Howl fall in love with him as he is so beautiful and all of the rescue volunteer love him so much.
Howl is now around ten months old and should have many happy years ahead of him. However, sadly, we recently noticed some worrying signs that Howls health was deteriorating. He developed a nasty cough and gets tired very easily so we sought assistance from Premier Vets, Gateshead, who suggested an X-Ray to see what was going on. Unfortunately this X-Ray has shown that Howl has a deformed heart which he will have been born with and will most likely be caused by inbreeding. This means that his heart may not be functioning properly and could fail.
Howl is only around ten months old and we want to try and give him a good quality of life by finding the best treatment. He needs further scans and an ECG to truly understand what is going on so that vets can decide how and if they can treat his condition.
Stage one will be to have him referred to a cardiologist at Wear Referrals for a scan and ECG on his heart. The cost for this with a consultation would be around £650, but may be more if sedation is required.
We are unsure yet as to the ongoing costs as that depends on the findings of the scan. Howl is the sweetest ferret you could meet and we hope that we can help him to live his life to the full for as long as he can.
Without treatment he will likely only have a short life and, given that he is already affected by his condition at 10 months old, this is likely to be only a few years at most. Investigative treatment will allow us to understand his condition so that a treatment plan can be made. Howl is a beautiful boy and he deserves to be able to dook and bounce around like a normal ferret.
Follow Howl's journey through diagnosis and hopefully treatment of his heart condition.