Message Number: YG2482 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-11 18:56:00 UTC
Subject: Re: When to do surgery for insulinoma

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., macdoodle99@y... wrote:
> I was wondering if anyone has any opinions on whether it is
> worthwhile to continue trying to get her blood sugar under control
> medically, or if it is better to do surgery as soon as possible.
> Given how resistant she is to the prednisone, is there a good
> she will be relatively resistant to the proglycem? That stuff is
> expensive (not that I wouldn't pay for it to help my ferret), but I
> really don't want to be wasting my time or money.

In my opinion, this sugar is stable (although it is stable at a level
of 46-47). The longer that surgery is put off in a healthy ferret,
the more likely the possibility that it might plunge, that diabetes
may be seen after surgery, or that metastasis may occur.) In a
normal healthy ferret, I generally counsel surgery without trying
medical means first.
> Also, Mackenzie's symptoms are anorexia, teeth grinding, and a
> clumsiness in the hind legs. She is and has been on carafate for
> last 4 weeks, so we are not thinking ulcers anymore. And my vet
> thinks she is doing remarkably well for a blood sugar in the 40's.
> have received many helpful responses to my question on what to feed
> her--thanks everyone!--and right now she is doing great on a
> of chicken baby food with a bit of Hills A/D and some ferretone.
> eats it off my fingers without a fuss and has even gained 1/2 lb.
> as of now, there isn't really any clinical urgency to change
> management. I just want to know if I should push to do surgery
> sooner rather than later when she might be sicker

While teeth grinding is not a sign of insulinoma, it would be
interesting to see what effect treating the hypoglycemia may have on
these very common signs of gastric ulcers. (4 weeks on carafate, if
not dosed appropriately or at the right time will still not eliminate
the symptoms.)

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM
> Thanks,
> Kristy and Mackenzie