Message Number: YG1243 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-13 23:10:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Prognosis in Leukemia

In a message dated 3/13/01 1:38:01 PM Eastern Standard Time,
williams@e... writes:

<< I am familiar with this protocol. Unfortunately, there is little talk of a
remission or cure, especially when the neoplasm is leukemic (meaning that
the neoplastic cells are in the bloodstream), then the cases are extremely

The biggest problem with leukemia is that the cells are not only in the
bloodstream, but they are also in the bone marrow as well. In high numbers,
they crowd out the cells that normally produce blood elements - RBC, white
blood cells, and platelets - so on top of the neoplasm, these animals often
develop a life-threatening anemia. >>

Dear Bruce - It has been so long since I spoke with you, not sure your
remember me or not. You might already be aware of the case I am going to
tell you about, if not, thought you might be interested. For any reading
this, please do not hold out false hope. I think this case was extremely

There was a little jill who belonged to a friend of mine who had leukemia and
whose bone marrow was completely depressed. In order to give her a short
term boost, with no hope implied, she was given a blood transfusion. She
bounced back and for a few weeks was a normal ferret. Then she again became
deathly pale, cold and lethargic. Another transfusion was given and again
she bounced back - this time for a month. Because she responded well to the
transfusions, they were continued with knowledge that eventually the toll
would be taken on other organs and that she would not survive too long.

Well, this little ferret survived for five years on blood transfusions. With
several of us who had big hobs, a rotation schedule was established. When
she would fall a bit off, whoever's turn it was would grab a few guys and
meet at the vet's office.
She broke all the odds and just plain lived. She was a tenacious little
ferret who was a miracle unto herself. Now the down side. During the course
of the transfusions, three hobs were lost. Two to fatal allergic reactions
to Isoflurane and
one to pericarditis which developed a few days after a transfusion. Although
that ferret lived nearly a year afterwards - his heart was just too damaged.

I guess everything has a price. If you don't know about this case and are
interested, I will let you know the vets who treated her. Best Regards, Meg