Archived Articles : Blockages - Balloons

For Love Or Money  

After getting home from work late on Tuesday afternoon, Daniell asks me to check on Molly because she didn't seem herself and had vomited in a tube in the back yard. So, after checking her out, she just looked like she was having an off day; (most of us can relate to that).  

The next morning, the ferrets and I slip into the usual routine of breakfast and a run. Opening up the cage, I was horrified to see all this yellow goo-like substance on the inside of the cage door. Taking a closer look, my worst fears were confirmed; one of the ferrets had got hold of a burst balloon and obviously swallowed some of it, as now it had been projectile vomited onto the cage door.  

Checking them one by one, I realised from the way she wanted to sleep in, Molly wasn't feeling herself. I checked around the cage and found more and more pieces of this balloon in more places than one (ie the litter tray). I realised that something must still be stuck inside her for her to be so listless and out of energy; it was appalling how much weight she had lost in one day.  

I went to work saying "She's tough", "She'll be alright" and came back in 1 hour worried to death. I rang the Cottesloe Animal Hospital only to find that Dr Don Nickels was on vacation.
"What do we do now?" I said "Molly is getting weaker and weaker."
I rang Dianne at 8am waking her up (because I didn't want to worry alone) and she put me onto a few people who could help me.  

I rang Ascot Vet Clinic and asked if I could bring her down. Before leaving I packed a cut lunch and water bag for my baby as I knew it was going to be serious and she was going to be gone for a few days and, I hoped, not forever.  

2 x-rays later, it was found that there was something lodged there, which was taking up 3/4 of her small intestine. Without hesitation I said "Take it out", "I don't care how much it costs", "you can't let her die, she's my baby".  

Driving back to work for the second time, I had a woman pull out in front of me and stop in the middle of the road, I locked up the brakes with smoke and all, missing her by inches. After trying so hard not to cry all morning, that lady put the icing on the cake. What a mess I was when I got back to work looking like a racoon. The day became very unproductive due to worrying so much. My boss, in sympathy, told me to have the rest of the day off, so needless to say the other cars looked like they were standing still on the Mitchell Freeway as I sped back to Ascot Vets.  

Racing through the front door - they knew my name by now, as it was the third time I had gone in there in one day. Without hesitation they whisked me into a consulting room to see my baby. She was very drugged but ALIVE. They found that there was a piece of balloon 2.5cm long by 1 cm thick in her intestine and gave it to me to show everyone, and that I did. They couldn't tell how long it had been in there but for Molly and I, it was way too long!  

3 days later, after lots of pampering and sleeping in the master bedroom, Molly was up and walking; but very tender of course. We spent alot of time sucking up to Molly (for leaving the balloon in the back yard for her to get), by letting her sleep on our tummies for up to 2 hours, being stroked and loving every minute of it. I have never known a ferret that loves to be pampered so much, she's such a sook.  

Well, 7 stitches and $357 later, Molly is now 95% better and is still mending.  

After everything that happened it really only comes down to one thing: "When it comes to Family, Money doesn't come into it"  


Article Published in Issue 62 of Ferreting Around (January / February 1995)