Message Number: YG3610 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-15 15:48:00 UTC

Dear Molly:

While an insulin is helpful in some cases, it does not necessarily rule in
or out an insulinoma. Insulin release from these tumors may be sporadic,
and the finding of a normal insulin level only means that levels were not
elevated at the precise moment in which the animal was bled.

Regarding treatment - surgery is alway the first alternative, provided the
ferret is not geriatric and a poor surgical candidate. There are several
approaches, incluidng nodulectomy, or partial pancreatectomy, or both. The
third option has the best results , with ferrets having up to a year free of
clinical signs (the equivalent of ten years in your life.) Additionally ,
tumors tend to recur only in about 40% of cases, so a cure is certainly not
out of the question. Metastasis to other sites is actually almost unheard
of, especially if surgery is preformed early on.

Medical treatment, (prednisone and proglycem) should be reserved only for
non-surgical candidates and animals recovering from surgery. I think that a
6-12 month survival time is relatively pessimistic, provided surgical and
medical options are explored at appropriate times.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List:

-----Original Message-----
From: Aisha a [mailto:mallene@h...]
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 12:58 PM
To: Williamsb@a...

PLEASE help!

My vet spoke with me today concerning my five year old nutered male ferret

Mael. His insulin count is at 29 (well below normal she says) I have been
searching for information on treatment for insulinoma, which is what she is
certain he has. I take him tomarrow to get bloodwork for insulin tomarrow.

My question is, what is the best recoarse for treating this disease. My vet

informs me that even with surgery, it is nearly impossible to remove all of
the tumor (we have not found searched for the tumor yet)And that this will
eventually move to other organs. I am desperate to help my baby for as long

as medically possible.
My vet also says that he only has 6-12months to live with this disease
with both surgery and medications. Is this true? I have no reason to doubt

her, as she has been treating my ferrets since 1996. But I would stil feel
more comfortable with a second opinion, as best as you can with this
She also says Maels glucose levels are low.

Please HELP

Sincerely yours

Molly Allen
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at