Message Number: YG5036 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Lynn McIntosh
Date: 2001-07-01 13:30:00 UTC
Subject: Vets please- Methylprednisolone tx for insulinoma?

Hi. I posted a question recently and received only two replies (thank
you!), though none from vets. I suspect it's because no one has used
methylprednisolone to treat insulinoma. Our vet has suggested it
because she has read of evidence that it causes less secondary effects in
humans than other forms of pred. She was planning on consulting a
pharmacist about it, and I said I'd post to this list. There is a bit of
urgency in that I feel I must decide soon about surgery for one of our
ferrets, our sweet Minnie, who is quickly gaining weight on pediapred,
which is not good with her congenital heart condition.

BACKGROUND: I've personally observed that using pediapred to
treat insulinoma leads to obesity and resultant lack of mobility in ferrets.
In terms of medical treatment for insulinoma, I'm looking for other
options. I have a seven-year-old locally-bred spayed ferret, an albino,
with insulinoma diagnosed 5/1/02. She also has a congenital heart
murmur rated three on a scale of six; regarding the heart she is symptom
free as of yet, though she is breathing a bit heavier due to, I hope, recent
weight gain; I've observed no coughing. She has been on a small dose
of prediapred for insulinoma for three months (.2 ml 2x/day of 6.75
mg/5ml). We feed her our version of chicken soup, and try not to
overfeed, and she has quit eating kibble as so often happens. Since
onset of treatment 5/1/02 Minnie has gone from 1lb 4oz (she was a
runt) to 1lb 10oz! Minnie has always been extremenly active, and I've
worked to ensure she gets plenty of exercise to keep her heart in good
shape. She is less active now, though still playful (much less so) and still
galloping a bit. Surgery isn't the most attractive option due to her heart
condition. However, we are considering it and may get an ultrasound
soon to access the heart.

1) Regarding medical treatment, our vet suggested we switch Minnie to
Methylprednisolone because our vet has read of evidence that this drug
causes less side affects in humans than regular pred. Has anyone here
used it to treat insulinoma and, if so, what were the results? If not, can
anyone identify reasons for or against trying it?

2) Regarding surgery consideration, given a ferret-experienced
radiologist with a ferret-experienced vet attending, how accurate, in
general, is ultrasound is in predicting the safety of proceeding with
surgery in regards to a heart condition?

3) Why does pred. cause weight gain and how might one alleviate the
problem? If pred. causes the body to metabolize more fat, as I
understand it does, should the ferret's diet be cut back, or would this
lead to insufficient nutrition due to the increased conversion of fat
(obviously I'm no nutritionist!).

Thank you very much.
Lynn McIntosh