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
the most diagnostic sign, and although somewhat of a non-specific
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
definitively rule them out.
My suggestion at this point would be to treat for gastric ulcers with
bland diet and Carafate (more details at http://www.afip.org/ferrets)
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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