Message Number: YG2015 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Michael Janke
Date: 2001-04-01 22:41:00 UTC
Subject: RE: Low blood sugar but no physical signs

While ferrets that have a gradual reduction of blood glucose levels seem to
adapt to it to some degree, 21mg/dl and then a number that is an unknown
amount below that and to be asymptomatic seems unusual. That's not to say
that Bandit doesn't have a low glucose number, but perhaps just not that
low. I'd have Bandit retested, and if possible, with a different tester.

While the suggestion to give "sugar" is not a good idea, one nationally
known and respected ferret vet does recommend nutrical for insulinoma
ferrets. I give Beasley a little dab of Nutrical a couple times a day, but
only with a meal. I think the type of sugar in nutrical is what makes it OK,
though I couldn't say for sure. I would definitely stay away from any other
kind of sweets for Bandit as it can cause a spike then a crash of blood
sugar levels.


> I have a 7+ year old ferret with adrenal disease. Last month when I
> took him in to have a Lupron shot, the vet checked blood sugar level
> and told me it was 21. Since he had not been eating well for the
> past week, I figured that may have been the reason. He hasn't really
> shown any signs of insulinoma. We started him on prednisone .35 mL
> twice a day. About 10 days later, his hair started growing back, and
> he was a little more playful. I figured it was due to the Lupron
> reversing some of the symptoms and he was feeling better. At the
> next visit to the vet (a month later) for a check-up we had to wait
> about a half an hour in the room for the vet. I let Bandit out to
> run around, and he actively ran around, checking out every corner of
> that room. The vet came in, and did another blood sugar test (I
> don't know how long it had been since he ate, at least two hours) and
> this time the blood sugar level was even lower - too low to show up
> on the tester. Now, last time I had a ferret there that had a test in
> that range, she was in a coma. How can my active little ferret have
> such a blood sugar result and still be standing, let alone running
> around? Do you think his machine is wrong, or do some ferrets just
> handle lower blood sugar levels better? I would at least expect to
> see some weakness in his hind legs, but nothing - he's running around
> chasing me, climbing up on the sofa without problems. I just don't
> understand!
> The vet told me to start giving sugar twice a day - so I give
> nutrical, about 1/3 inch, twice a day. Do you have any other
> suggestions for me? He's also back to not eating regular food, so
> I'm back to waking him to eat warmed mushy food at least 3 times a
> day.
> Thanks for any advice!
> Linda