Message Number: YG3143 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-02 14:50:00 UTC
Subject: Re: insulinoma surgery--? for Dr. Williams

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., ifixrex2000@y... wrote:
> My ferret is barely 3 years old. He has insulinoma but is in
> otherwise good health. We noticed increased flattening behavior
> prompted us to test the blood sugar. The numbers were borderline,
> upon surgery our vet found a localized tumor on the pancreas. He
> removed that tumor as well as the 'tail' of the pancreas. There
> been some improvement in the blood sugar number and much
> in behavior. He is not on medication. We do monitor what/how often
> eats.
> My question is this: If sugar levels drop again (which I feel they
> will), would it be feasible to have a second surgery done? What is
> the minimum amount of time that should pass between surgeries IF a
> second surgery is even recommended? Would we want to start using
> before doing a second surgery? Or would the second surgery be done
> and then pred when levels drop again.

There is no hard and fast rule here. Disease free intervals have
been reported at 268 days on average when nodulectomy is combined
with partial pancreatectomy, as has occured here.

It all depends on the animal's recovery from the previous surgery,
the level of the blood sugar, the severity of clinical signs, etc. I
generally believe that if the animal is a good surgical candidate, a
second surgery is not a bad idea. I like to reserve pred for animals
who are either not surgical candidates, or for those just coming off
a surgery. A good ballpark for a minimal time between surgery is
about 3 months if necessary.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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