Date: 2001-04-20 18:38:00 UTC
Subject: Follow up Mackenzie's insulinoma surgery
Hi, I thought I would just post a quick note to follow up on my
ferret Mackenzie's insulinoma surgery. The path came back as
metastatic islet cell carcinoma. Someone recently posted about their
ferret also having this and apparently it is rare, but here is
another one. In this case, actually the "pancreatic mass" turned out
to be hyperplasia--so not the original tumor. But the liver lesion
and the mass on the intestines was the metastatic carcinoma.
Regardless of whether the original tumor was removed or not, the
prognosis I believe is the same since my vet could not excise the two
metastatic lesions, but debulked them.
Mackenzie had a normal exam and lab work including glucose about 4
weeks prior to symptoms. 4 weeks after symptoms started she
underwent surgery and had the three tumors and lots of other bad
stuff. This definitely is a very aggressive carcinoma.
She continues to grind her teeth. Which I now feel is unrelated to
hypoglycemia as her blood sugars have remained in the 100's (although
falling). I believe it is abdominal pain. Which would mean that she
may never have even been symptomatic from her blood sugars in the
4o's. Her only symptoms really were anorexia and teeth grinding,
which persist despite normal blood sugars.
And now that leaves me just trying to figure out how miserable is
she? And when do I end her suffering? Aside from the teeth grinding
and weakness just after surgery, she is eating and is so healthy
appearing. Unlike my other pets who were old and fragile and clearly
declining when I euthanized them, Mackenzie is a picture of good
health. It is so difficult and heart breaking.