Date: 2001-06-20 18:21:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Insulinoma, Not Eating, and Low Insulin Level?
Just reposting in case you missed this over the weekend. Don Juan is
still doing fine, except for not eating solid food. We're going in
to the vet again tomorrow.
> Don Juan is about 3 1/2 years old (I've have him for 20 months),
> weighs 1.3 kg, and (until recently) loves to eat. I had to spoon
> feed him the first few days I had him, but he's been a little
> since, and I've fed a mix containing, at various times, Iams
> Totally Ferret, Ferret Store Superior choice, Eukanuba kitten, and
> in-1 Ultimate. He doesn't get sugary treats (maybe sliver of
> strawberry every few months), but I know he got honey-nut cheerios
> almost daily before I got him. Daily treats are kibble offered by
> hand, with a Cheweasel or foamy fry once every week or two.
> Last Wednesday night, June 6, I found Don Juan stretched flat on
> floor. He was completely limp, drooling, and, soon after,
> shuddering. After a dose of Karo syrup and some chicken baby food,
> he came around, much to my relief. He was awake and alert at the
> vet's office the next morning, but "ran out of gas" towards the end
> of the exam. After a 5-5 1/2 hour fast, his glucose level was 65.
> They also sent a blood sample in for an insulin test and sent us
> with some pediapred.
> Don Juan has been doing great since, alert and active with no
> more "episodes." But he will not touch his kibble, even when
> by hand (this is a little boy who has always LOVED his food). He
> will walk by the dish and sniff it, but won't eat. I put a piece
> kibble in his mouth and he bit it but didn't eat it. He eats baby
> food and Bob's gravy with gusto, as long as I hold the bowl or
> spoon. I don't think he ate much if anything the day of his
> The results of the insulin test finally came back yesterday,
> levels a little *below* normal--not quite the result I expected.
> vet has not personally seen this before, but said the lab indicated
> that low insulin levels sometimes accompany insulinoma because the
> ferret can't properly regulate the insulin level.
> My questions are:
> 1. Is the below normal insulin level consistent with insulinoma?
> 2. What could have put him off his food so suddenly and so
> 3. Could the hypoglemic episode have been caused by a day of not
> eating and not by insulinoma?
> 4. Would it be better to do surgery immediately, continue medical
> management indefinitely, or continue medical management until I
> figure out the answers to 1-3?
> The vets' office has a website on insulinoma--I'd be interested in
> your comments on that, too.
> Thanks for your help.
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