Message Number: YG4675 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-18 22:41:00 UTC
Subject: Re: A question for vets

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Russell Prater <russellprater@w...>
> I have a 3.5 yrs old male Marshall's ferret who weighs 3.6 lbs. He
> ECE at 1 yr old and since has had an enlarged spleen. At his 3 yr
> check-up, his blood glucose level was 64. I have monitored his BG
> monthly since and it has climbed slightly to 74. He shows no signs
> any illness and has never displayed any of the classic symptoms of
> insulinoma. He romps violently with my 2.5 yr old pair and seems to
> very well. I'm thinking he may be harboring a low grade helicobacter
> infection which Dr. Williams has said he often finds associated with
> enlarged spleen, but don't know if that would have anything to do
> the low BG. We will have another visit with his vet next month and
> appreciate any suggestions of test or treatments we should explore
> that time.

Dear Russell:

The BG is in the grey area of 60-80, in which I don't rush to surgery
(especially if there are no clinical signs.) This is one where an
insulin level may be of help - but without any clinical signs, even
if the insulin level is elevated, I would probably hold off on
surgery, based on his absence of symptoms and violent romping.

A big spleen at this point is also probably not a cause for surgery,
unless it is huge - then we may want to consider surgery to prevent a

Next month, lets run the BG and insulin. If the BG is low and the
insulin is high, then we start to watch closely for any signs of
hypoglycemia. When we see them (and we probably will), then its time
for the surgery, at which time we pull the pancreatic tumor and the
spleen at the same time.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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