Message Number: YG296 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-02-27 00:30:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Checking Blood Glucose Level

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "James L. Myers" <jlmy@w...> wrote:
> Is it best to bring the ferret in for a blood test for BG level
after having had food or is it best to do in a fasting
> state?? When I say fasting I mean about four hours after last meal
being consumed. Thanks for a reply to this
> question.

Dear James:

That would depend on whether this is a routine screen or if your
ferret has already shown signs of insulinoma.

As a general rule, it is not terribly helpful to bring a ferret in
right after they have eaten - at this time the glucose is at its
highest levels and the measured levels may not be representative of
what it truly going on.

If the ferret has recently shown signs of hypoglycemia, such as
trances, drooling, difficulty walking, etc., I discourage doing a
fasting blood glucose test. By purposely witholding food, we may
precipitate a hypoglycemic attack. Usually, when an animal is
showing clinical signsglucose , the blood level will show up as low
(<60)on a routine screen.

My recommendations for fasting blood glucoses are generally limited
to those who register as borderline (60 - 80) on a routine screen, or
rechecks on animals who have previously had insulinoma, but no
clincial signs since surgery. A fasting blood glucose facilitates
early detection of insulinoma recurrence in these animals.

Anytime that a blood glucose level dips below 60 g/dl, regardless of
whether it is a routine screen or a fasting test, insulinoma should
be strongly considered. If clinical signs of hypoglycemia are
present as well, then your diagnosis is clear.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM
Join the Ferret Health List: