Message Number: YG2298 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Shortley, Lisa
Date: 2001-04-06 14:23:00 UTC
Subject: RE: islet cell carcinoma - more questions and clarity

> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 01:38:21 -0000
> From: "Bruce Williams, DVM"
> Subject: Re: islet cell carcinoma
> Interesting - ferrets do not have strokes - strokes are a
peculiarly human disease which is associated with
atherosclerosis - a disease yet to be diagnosed in ferrets. I
have not doubt that he is blind - blindness is not uncommon in
ferrets, but I suspect that a good
> retinal examination may suggest a degenerative process. In
> cases, diminished sight is not noticed until another problem
> identified, and the two are linked.
Like I said, it MAY have been a stroke - we aren't exactly
sure. I would love to get to the bottom of what happened to
him. He was still living at a shelter (silly me adopts them
AFTER they're sick! lol) at the time and the director went to
give him some duck soup and he was staring into space and VERY
stiff and scared. She put him on the floor as he did NOT want
to be touched and he began walking in circles and then pacing
the room - running into each wall and each object on the floor
before changing directions. He had never shown any signs of
losing his eyesight before this. He did have a low glucose
reading and was scheduled for insolumnoma surgery. He was
also on .4ccs of pediapred twice daily to maintain him until
his surgery. On that terrible day, he did not sleep at all -
he just paced for over 10 hours. She would try and place him
in his cage and he would continue pacing and banging on the
sides of the cage to get out of there. He tore apart his
cage, etc.
He was taken to the vet's for preanestesia bloodwork and
everything was normal except his glucose as at around a 64. I
realize that 64 is low, but low enough to cause all this?
For days following this, he (formarly, never really messy)
would only sleep curled up in his litter pan and chose to poop
over all of his freshly cleaned bedding. He was not eating
kibble but would eat meat babyfood mixed with A/D on his own.
He had trouble eating that too though - he would lick at the
air for a while before finally connecting with the food. It
was this air licking, the constant running into things, and
the stiffness that indicated to us that he had suddenly gone
blind. Please tell me what your take on this is - I'm sure
you have much more experience with this than I and I want more
than anything to just know what happened to him - if this is
> I would like to see this report. There is a pancreatic
lymph node
> which is closely associated with the pancreas - this would
> represent a metastasis, but a normal structure - unless you
mean that
> the islet cell tumor has metastasized to the pancreatic
lymph node
> (which would be really rare.)

Gosh this response (and those from the Mike and Jerry the vet)
have given me so much relief and encouragement. Perhaps I did
misunderstand the information my vet quoted me on Sterling. I
have called my vet's office and am picking up a copy of
Sterling's lab report tonight to get to you. Can I fax it to
you for your review or should I post verbatum what it states
on the list? If I should fax, where do you recommend I fax
After reading your email, I looked up the information on
insolumnoma in Fox's book and naturally, everything you stated
in your email matched that information. I'm hoping I just
misunderstood because it doesn't sound nearly as bad as I
originally thought! The word "carcinoma" is so scary though.
I'm just confused then. I mean, we already knew it was
insolumnoma based on the low glucose reading and then the
tumors found on his pancreas (and pancreatic lymph node)
didn't we? Even before surgery? So what did the lab report
show us that we didn't already know? That the tumor
metacized? This is a big deal, isn't it? Or is this normal
for islet cell carcinomas?
You said that it would be really rare for the islet cell tumor
to metastasize to the pancreatic lymph node. Well, this is
what must have happened. It was my understanding that the
islet tumor began on the lymph node and metastasized to the
pancreas - but perhaps I misunderstood. Regardless,
metastaziation did occur. The exact wording on the
histopathogy report will help clarify this, right? But if
this is the case - how scary is it?
I have SO much to learn and the more I learn, the more
questions I have...
But I would like to send you the histopathology report and get
your take on this. I only want the best for my boy! :-)
Especially since you're a pathologist and this is definetly a
pathology thing!!!
> Honestly, I think there is a problem in communication here.
The story that you have told above has a kernel of truth, but
appears to be misconstrued. I would be interested to see the
report verbatim, and at that time, we can discuss it.
I hope you're right Dr Williams. I will have the report
tonight and hope that this can answer all my questions! Thank
you so much for your time and advice and concern. And thank
you Mike and Dr Murray as well. Once again, I can't say
enough how wonderful this list is! :-)
Lisa Shortley and Sterling too