Message Number: YG3306 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-06 12:03:00 UTC
Subject: Re: insulimona: pediapred dosage?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Jean Chiasson <Jean@f...> wrote:
> 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
> 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)

what an ordeal - and what a trooper! yay scoots! i'm not suprised
he had a hard time with the whole surgery...after all, that is quite
a bit o' cutting! as for pedia-pred, i have found that my critters
do better on a twice daily dosing. as for what level, i have always
gradually decreased the dose every two weeks to get a good idea of
where they are on a certain level. testing the glucose frequently
can help you get a better idea where critter is exactly instead of
just observing behavior, but often i've been able to get a good idea
of how critter "likes" the new dose by simply keeping them on a set
schedule for the duration of the adjustment, then taking some notes
daily about how long they motor about and so forth. i'll also add
that frequent protein snacks (boiled egg yolk crumbled up, cooked
chicken, warmed chicken baby food) has been a welcome addition to
some of my critters with insulinoma.

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