I came home from work yesterday to discover thick smeary pools of black blood in the kitchen and down the hall. Graham had e-mailed me at work, said Skatia was sick. I hadn’t expected it to look as if he’d been torn up. There was more blood than I would have initially thought a ferret could provide. I found him shivering in a pile of my clothes, blood crusted to his fur. He was exhausted, cold, and limp, obviously too ill to move.
I said to Mike, who was with me, “My ferret is dying.“
I put him in hot water and Graham called the Emergency Animal Hospital in Kitsilano. I called Stephen, arranged for a ride over, and cleaned up the kitchen. Our theories were either Skatia had swallowed something that had lodged in his intestines or he had a bacterial infection. The vet said otherwise, her $200 guess is cancer.
In retrospect, taking him to the doctor was a very expensive mistake. (One I’m not sure I can actually afford, so if anyone feels like taking me out to dinner for two weeks…)** Not only did she only tell me what I already knew, “he’s lost a lot of blood, he’s going to die,” the vet also became upset with me that I wouldn’t have him immediately put down, in spite of the fact that he wasn’t in any pain, as there would be “no way he would survive the night” and made it a hassle to get him back. He’s curled up in my lap right now, still breathing, over twenty four hours later, being kept warm in a blanket with a hot water bottle and a space heater. She only made things difficult.
It’s true, though, that I don’t know how much longer he will last. Sam and I stayed awake until dawn watching over him. It was expected his organs would shut down one by one as the blood that was left in his system worked to keep his brain alive. Slowly he would go to sleep and cease breathing. Now I’m not so sure. I got him to drink an entire tea-cup full of milk last night and at least half of it stayed in. He’s not exactly animated, but he’s no longer in shock and the bleeding has diminished. If he survives tonight as well, I think he’ll be okay for a few days more. He’s a tenacious little thing, even still dragging himself across the room to get to me, so I expect him to remain resilient.