Message Number: YG1080 | New FHL Archives Search
From: steve austin
Date: 2001-03-11 00:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Medical Questions and comfort

Also, and this is just for my peace of mind or lack there of,
depending on the answer...if he died within two weeks of outward
symptoms, was he in much pain? I'm guessing he probably had other
symptoms I couldn't see, like stomach aches or headaches or
something. I'm guessing they're pretty stoic creatures. I just
can't get it out my head that Kif was miserably uncomfortable and was
hiding it as long as he could. I hope that he was just sleepy and a
little off-kilter, not seriously uncomfortable. But, I would like to
know one way or the other. (I think I do, anyway.) :(


O.K. If you are a parent, don't read this, I know you are already worried
about everything else, having children is stressful enough and I don't
want to panic anyone.

I don't know if this helps, but I once was involved in a little boy who
died in the ER from acute lymphocytic leukemia- his WBC count was over
50,000 and his hct was only 6 (hgb was 2). He was not in pain, and I
know from talking to the parents he was not at all ill until he came to
the ER that day. They noticed very little signs, his was a tragic story.
Since his bone marrow was infiltrated by these leukemic cells (blasts in
his case), he had no way to make blood, they also accumulate in other
organs,brain, lymph, and he died from organ failure due to severe anemia.
He was very pale, and his liver and spleen were huge. You see life is
so precious, and I don't understand why these cancers occur, but they do.
Fortunately his is an extremely rare case- There was nothing you or
those poor boys parents could have done. In his case, his age and the
quick onset of his symptoms he had very little chance of even
chemotherapy helping. About a month before he had a viral illness, and
fever, two weeks later seemed a little weak and pale and an initial blood
test showed an elevated WBC and anemia, it was so off, the doc repeated
thinking a lab error, the repeat was worse and they tried to contact the
parents to come back, but they didn't understand how important that was
(why would they, their child was still playing and eating), and it took a
week to get them back in.

Hypoxia isn't a cause of death, the oxygen carrying capacity is fine, and
it is the lack of red blood cells circulating that effects the organs,
and causes hypovolemic shock and heart failure. Without enough volume and
reduced cardiac output the heart doesn't have enough pressure to pump
anything out and the tissues aren't being perfused.

I hope this helps some.

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