Message Number: YG2071 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-02 20:51:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Low blood sugar but no physical signs

Dr. Williams,

Thank you for your response. I'm hoping you are correct and there
was some lab errors, however the doc is usually back with a reading
in about ten minutes. Perhaps the machine he uses is not working
correctly. I was hoping that his levels are actually higher than
they sound - it's frightening to hear such levels. I may take him to
another local vet just for the blood test on a different machine. I
don't want to stress him out too much though, so maybe just treating
him with the prednisone and watching him (which I would do whether he
was a 20 or a 70)is my best bet and to just let it go from there. Is
there any reason I would really want to know exactly what the actual
number is if I'm going to treat him the same either way?

Thanks again for your help. I really respect your opinion.


--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>

> 21 is too low to go without some type of clinical symptom.
> One explanation for low values in apparently normal animals is lab
> error (which I unfortunately see on a regular basis.)
> The most common reason for this error is poor handling of the
> sample. Red blood cells have the ability to utilize the glucose in
> the serum to continue their vital processes once the blood is
> from the body. If the sample is not quickly spun down and the red
> cells removed, then they will continue to utilize the glucose in
> sample to maintain their own cellular processes.
> Usually, the samples are clotted and ready to spin within 5
> The fact of the matter is that during office hours, many clinics
> very busy, and often don't have the time to spin down samples
> immediately. Few clinics have full-time lab personnel - usually one
> of the techs handles bloodwork as well as other chores.
> also come up. If the blood sample gets parked for 15-20 minutes,
> decrease in glucose is noticeable.
> While there is always the possibility for an animal to adapt to a
> blood sugar, I would think that one this low (only 25% of the
> would have to result in some symptoms.)
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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