Date: 2001-04-30 12:04:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Help! Sick?
I apologize... My bad.... Yesterday was VERY bad for me... I
had been having a flare up of my own medical condition, and
heavily medicated and not thinking real clearly... and as a
result, did not make myself clear on many of the points or
what I was asked. Very disjointed information now that I look
at it with a clearer mind.... I'll be slapping myself around
I did want to go ahead and clarify now though....
1. My comment about the sugary content and insulinoma was not
in ANY way meant to infer that I was ruling it out or that it
was a test with any level of accuracy.
Usually if a ferret is showing signs that appear to be an
indication of insulinoma and we give the sugary substance and
it snaps them out of it... I usually just consider that an
additional indicator it likely IS insulinoma. I simply meant
to comment that she had not responded to it, not that I was
using it to make any sort of diagnosis.
2. Dr. Willaims... if you do not mind... I would like very
much to discuss further the use of Antibiotic... either on
here or privately,whichever you feel more appropriate. I have
gotten much contradicting advice on that and, as I greatly
respect your opinions, would like to discuss your feelings on
Also, just so you know. I did get in touch with my vet
yesterday and we discussed it all... actually got to talk to
them before the post even made it through... LOL... but am
still interested in other thoughts on it.
Today the ferret is hydrated and eating and drinking on her
own... still a little lethargic but much more responsive. Her
stool has also been progressing with each one, getting closer
and closer back to normal.
We are continuing the supplemental treatment and she has an
appointment tomorrow to possibly do some bloodwork and see if
anything shows up.
But thankfully,now she is also much better and stable and
Thanks for the help.
----- Original Message -----
Well, I don't think that there is enough information at this
point to even guess at a diagnosis, I would make just a
couple of general comments.
1) I don't think that you can really make any determination
of the prsence of an insulinoma based on a response to
orally adiminstered sugary compounds. Some animals snap
out, some don't - a blood testis always the best way to tell
- properly one, it takes all of the
guesswork out of interpreting clinical signs or response to
2) The administration of antibiotics on an empiric basis to
animals that are not doing well (especially those with
normal temps) may prevent a proper diagnosis from ever being
made. They may mask low-grade bacterial infections, prevent
bacterial cultures from ever being positive, may result in
mild improvement in clinical signs only to relapse over
several days, or in some cases, result in clinical signs,
themselves. (Amoxicillin is fairly safe overall, although
about 10% of animals receiving it will go off their food.)In
general, antibiotics are only good against bacteria, and
should only be employed when a bacterial infection is
While it is difficult to be in a rescue without immediate
access to a veterinarian, I generally advocate caution in
the utilization of antibiotics as part of a first line
therapy. SQ fluids, and a bland diet are often sufficient
to maintain an animal until appropriate diagnosis can be
With kindest regards,
Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP