Message Number: YG2192 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-04 22:26:00 UTC
Subject: Re: could this be neurological?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., NanPelati@a... wrote:
> > I have a problem with my 5 year old female ferret, Zoey. She
> occasionally
> > stumbles around to one side (not always the same side), unable to
> stand up
> > straight or focus on a task. Sometimes it is followed by
> sometimes
> > she has a small cough.
> > Sometimes her head tilts to one side, too, and she can't lift it
> for an
> > hour. Her blood sugar tested normal although it seems that when
> she is given
> > nutrical or karo syrup (for an emergency) she feels a bit
> It takes a
> > few hours for her to feel better and stand up straight -
> she needs
> > to be rushed in for fluids. She doesn't have all the symptoms
> vestibular
> > disease and although it appears like she's had a stroke during
> time -
> > she has all use of her legs and other bodily functions. My vet
> suggested
> > an MRI next but I don't like to anesthetize her. Has anyone ever
> seen this?
> Unfortunately, this is an amalgam of symptoms which do not have a
> clear thread. I think that we need to see the result of any
> bloodwork to see if anything points to one system or another. Head
> tilts occasionally suggest neurologic conditions, but they are
> usually consistent. Ferrets do not develop strokes - this is a
> common fallacy.

> I have to admit I am a bit puzzled - not insulinoma, but improves
> with Karo syrup. Acts like she has a stroke but has complete
> of legs and body function.
> While radiographic exam may be in the future, I think I'd like to
> have the blood results first.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
> Join the Ferret Health List at

ah...i hesitate to mention this for fear of causing alarm...but here
goes: my sophie acted like this intermittently for about 3 weeks
before she died. i said at the time she appeared to be "drunk" for
lack of a better explanation. sophie had her left adrenal removed
one year before she passed; the right was not accessible and my vet
at the time was not doing cryo. the biopsy showed malignant cancer
(i can never spell the proper term correctly). gross autopsy showed
cancer everywhere, so doc's simple explanation to me was that the
cancer had most likely spread to the brain, where no doubt it would
have caused all kinds of trouble. she never responded to karo,
though...her blood sugar remained just fine up until the end (i was
testing frequently in the hope of finding an "easy" explantion). i
certainly don't want to alarm the original poster; rather, i just
wanted to chime in and mention that i've seen this before and the
circumstance around my experience. best of luck to this critter!