Message Number: YG1767 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Debi Christy
Date: 2001-03-26 23:06:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Bloodwork and drawing blood

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., erka2719@a... wrote:
...Is there an easier way to draw blood? ....

The easiest way to check blood glucose level is with a glucometer,
like the ones diabetics use at home. It's not as precise as a CBC
reading, but it's close enough for most cases. (You can also purchase
one for the cost of a single office visit.) I highly recommend having
one on hand to anyone with insulinoma ferrets.

Fast for 3 hours. Collect the necessary supplies before you grab the
ferret. (Glucometer, test strip, nail clippers, Ferretone, paper
towel, Kwik Stop) Have someone hold the ferret by the scruff while
giving him Ferretone. Clip a rear foot nail too short to get a drop
of blood. Move the glucometer to the dangling ferret rather than
trying to move the ferret to drip the blood on the test strip!

If you have to do it by yourself, put Ferretone on his tummy & clip a
front nail. Be prepared to grab the ferret when you clip, because
he'll try to jump & run, but he will easily go back to the Ferretone
on his tummy and ignore what you're doing to his foot. Again, move
the glucometer to the ferret's foot, not the ferret to the glucometer.

Apply gently pressure to the ferret's toe afterward to stop the
bleeding (while he's still dangling & enjoying the Ferretone). You
may need Kwik Stop or silver nitrate if the nail continues to bleed.

A normal reading is between 70 & 130 or so with a 3 hour fast.
Anything under 60 is seriously low & should be followed up with a vet

(Remember, glucose levels cycle in the course of the day. A ferret
that has recently eaten will have a higher blood glucose level and be
completely normal.)

As for drawing blood from the jugular... practice helps, but even the
most experienced will sometimes have to resort to Iso with some super
hyper fuzzies.

Debi Christy
Ferrets First Foster Home