Message Number: YG3294 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jean Chiasson
Date: 2001-05-06 04:16:00 UTC
Subject: insulimona: pediapred dosage?

Hi everyone,

I have a question about my ferret, Scoots, and his dosage of Pediapred. My vet (Dr. ****) is out of the office until Thursday, so I thought I may be able to get some answers here. I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I searched the archives and had no luck.

Here's the story: Scoots went in for surgery two weeks ago. We suspected adrenal disease, and we knew he had stones in his bladder. We also were slightly suspicious of insulinoma, as he had had one episode where he was completely lethargic, but perked up after having some ferretvite. We were not too worried about insulinoma, though, because his blood sugar had tested low normal (if I remember correctly it was 61).

When Dr. **** got in, he found a huge spleen, which he removed (he had to because it was so huge he couldn't get to anything else!); it tested normal. He removed the stones in the bladder without incident. He told us he knew of a place which would test the stones, but it would cost $110, so his suggestion was that we save the stones, and if they reoccurred, we would have the first set tested and look into it more at that time. Then he removed a couple of tumors on his pancreas, which did turn out to be because of insulinoma. By then, he was concerned about the amount of time Scoots had been under anesthesia, but he took a look at his adrenals anyway, and his left adrenal was three times normal size! So he took a chance and removed that, too. Scoots went into surgery weighing 3 pounds and came out weighing 2.25!

Scoots took a long time to recover from his surgery (he is our fourth surgery, and he made me lose more sleep than any of the others!) The day after he came home he did eat once on his own, but only once. (He had had a shot of dexamethasone before leaving the vet.) I force-fed him a duck soup mix of kibble, ferretvite, and pedialite, and mixed his water with pedialite, but (even though he was drinking and urinating A LOT), he was still becoming dehydrated. Wednesday we took him back (and saw a different doctor this time... she had less experience with ferrets, but she called Dr. **** and consulted with him), and Scoots got fluids and another shot of dexamethasone. By then he was down to 2 lbs. Dr. ******* prescribed a low dose of Pediapred to try to get his energy back up. Again, he ate one meal on his own, but only one. On Thursday I talked to Dr. **** and mentioned the only time he would eat was after dexamethasone. We decided to increase the Pediapred dose. Friday the biopsy results came back and confirmed insulinoma.

Dr. **** thinks that the enlarged adrenal was producing enough extra hormones to combat the insulinoma, and that was why his blood sugar was normal. He also said Scoots was probably pretty anemic from losing his spleen, and that is why his recovery was taking so long. (I expected after having .75 lbs of internal organs taken out, he might be feeling pretty crappy!) We upped his dose to 1ml twice a day, with the intention of backing off as soon as we could. Dr. Polo was concerned about too much Pediapred affecting his ability to heal himself from the surgery.

Scoots finally started eating on his own after that! I bought a kitchen scale so I could monitor his weight at home, and he is now up to 2.125 pounds. So I reduced his Pred dosage, first to .75 ml twice a day, then to .5 ml twice a day. He is still doing great, so now I want to reduce his dose again. My question is (after all that background) should I reduce his dose to .25 ml twice a day, or just do .5 ml once a day?

Sorry this is such a long message. I just wanted to give all the information out that I could. My fiance and I have had ferrets for 5 years, and we have done a lot of research and been through a lot of diseases. But we are new to insulinoma, and we just want to keep Scoots as healthy as we can for as long as we can. In fact, my fiance is in the kitchen now trying his hand at Bob Church's chicken gravy! So please wish us luck, and any info you can give us would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for listening!

-Jean (and Duncan (fiance), who are owned by Scoots, Fizgig, Mokey, Nimue, Rosco and Phoebe)

_____________________________________________________________ - The Ferrets United Network free e-mail for ferret lovers
sponsored by Modern Ferret magazine