Message Number: YG4287 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-03 21:33:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Extendeded Prednisone use..and maybe proglycem

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Wendy Briggs" <ferret63@h...> wrote:
> My 7year old female..Zoey..has had insulinoma for 1 1/2 yrs now.
Is doing very well on prednisone and proglycem. Fur is
beautiful..poops fine...playful..and eating well. Now for my
question. I too am on prednisone for extended time and my protocol
that come with my prescription states extended use cause calcium to
be leeched..therefore I am on medication to counteract this. Does
this also apply to ferrets? Zoey has been on so long. and will be
until she dies. Is calcium loss a problem for her therefore
resulting in broken bones? Prednisone apparently also leeches
potassium. Just wondering if I should be concerned about this for my
lovey girl. Of course us hoomans can eat bananas and take calcium
supplements like I do.

Dear Wendy -

Ferrets are generally considered to be steroid resistant, and
osteoporosis has really not been identified in ferrets on long-term
prednisone. This is not to say that it does not occur, but it has
not been identified as a problem. To my knowledge, pathologic
fractures have never been reported.

I don't think that you have too much to worry about here - actually
keep her playing - older sedentary ferrets have more problems with
bone loss from inactivity than from steroid use.