Message Number: YG3104 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-01 15:25:00 UTC
Subject: Re: 2nd Post...Dr.'s please help!

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., friscotheferret@y... wrote:
> I will try to be brief with my ferret's symptoms as she has been
> by a vet 5 out of the last 6 days but a diagnosis still escapes him
> (us). Blood tests are all normal. Fasting BG is 87. Symptoms are
> hind leg weakness, teeth grinding. She didn't eat (or poop, for
> most part, if she did it was diarrhea) for 2 days. She was
> weak and lethargic. (Seemed like classic insulinoma). I took her
> the vet at that point. X-Rays show no blockages. She was force
> and had Sub-Q fluids injected for 3 days and started eating and
> drinking on her own. Her legs have gotten stronger and she is
> pooping normally again. She is still doing the teeth grinding and
> though legs are stronger, they aren't perfect. She's 6 ½ years
> Vet doesn't think it's insulinoma or if it is, it's very early
> He is familiar with ferrets and Drs Williams and Weiss so I am
> confident with him. He also feels if it were insulinoma, there
> NOT be improvement. Someone suggested coccidia. My vet doesn't
> think that's it. She doesn't come into contact with other animals
> and she's 6 1/2. He still thinks it could be early insulinoma.
> legs are stronger since last post but still grinding teeth and
> tired. Started giving antibiotics on Saturday but she hates them!
> Should I force them? I'm told teeth grinding indicates pain and
> last thing I want is for her to be in pain. I would like to
> it somehow!! Would you please provide me with your interpretation?

The fasting BG of 87 and I am assuming a normal glucose on the
screen rules out insulinoma. The tooth grinding at this point appear
to be
the most diagnostic sign, and although somewhat of a non-specific
sign of
abdominal pain, is most closely associated with gastric ulceration
can cause weakness and lethargy as well.)

I am always hesitant to definitively rule out foreign bodies or other
of obstruction simply due to a negative radiograph - oinly about 10%
foreign bodies show up on survey radiographs, and barium studies only
demonstrate them in an additional 20% of cases. That is 70% of
bodies that don't show up on radiographs.

Coccidia is relatively easy to diagnose with several sequential fecal
tests - they are intermittently shed, so it takes 2-3 tests over a
week to
definitively rule them out.

My suggestion at this point would be to treat for gastric ulcers with
bland diet and Carafate (more details at
Treatment for Helicobacter mustelae is also an option, but I think in
case I would start with treatment for ulcers only.

Also, I would hesitate giving up totally on the blockage possibility,
although it's possibility in a 6.5 year old ferret is not high.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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