Message Number: YG4909 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-26 22:44:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Vets please, repost: Abscesses developing from inside the neck/
the neck/ throat?

Dear Ulrike:

There are two possibilities here - that the kidneys are damaged to the point
that they are not resorbing glucose, or more likely, that one of the tests
(urine or blood) is wrong.

The kidney has the ability to reabsorb all glucose presented to it up to
about 180 g/dl - that's 1.5x normal. Glucose tests in the urine are
negative until they go above this threshold. Now if the kidney is in
chronic renal failure, it will not have enough functional tissue to reclaim
all of the glucose normally presented. But usually, all of the other values
would be seriously elevated, and other signs of renal disease would be

So the most likely cause is that either the blood test is wrong, or the
urine test is wrong. If the glucose is elevated, and the urine test is
right, that means that the blood is not likely being processed fast enough -
blood that sits will use gluose as an energy source as long as possible. I
don't know of a way for a glucose reading to be artificially increased if a
urine dipstick is used, but if properly done, I always trust a blood test as
more reliable than a urine test. Urine sticks are made to read glucose only
in vary broad strokes.

If it is helpful - usually ferrets that are spilling glucose urinate a lot -
the extra solute draws water with it into the urine. This is not very
sensitive, but if his urination level is normal - I'd start by questioning
the validity of the urine test first.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ulrike" <ferretlove@n...>
To: "DVM Bruce Williams" <williams@e...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 7:17 AM

> Dear Dr Williams
> I guess you don't know why a ferret would have glucose in the urine but a
> normal blood glucose level? I'd written about my Tom and it worries me,
> had 2 urine tests which showed glucose in the urine and 2 blood glucose
> tests afterwards that were normal...
> Best wishes from
> Ulrike
> and Jilly, Jack, Bella, Tom, Mason, Baby, Dana, Fox, Reno, Rose, Jasmine,
> Spike, Hobo, Gremlin and Bobby
> Missing Angel, Hope, Igor and Barney
> West Wales Ferret Welfare
> E-mail: ferretlove@n...
> Last update 09/05/01
> Dear Ulrike:
> There are some syndromes that can do this, but the best way to
> diagnose the problem is to either culture the pus, biopsy an affected
> node, or both.
> There are truly some bacteria that affect animal species through
> puncture wounds, and some species are preferentially affected in the
> head an neck through inoculations during feeding. Actinomyces is
> one, and is especially difficult to treat. Streptococcus
> zooepidemicus can do this, and has been incriminated in on-again, off-
> again outbreaks similar to what you describe.
> The key is to culture the pus rather than just drain it out. An
> abscess is almost a pure culture of the bacteria in question in the
> majority of cases - then you have an answer, plus you can choose the
> most effective antibiotic.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce Williams, DVM
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