Message Number: YG520 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-03-02 08:14:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Theories on causes and prevention

On Fri, 2 Mar 2001 miralia@j... wrote:
> I have been curious lately what theories are the most popular for
> explaining adrenal tumors and insulinoma in ferrets.

I'm not terribly up on the adrenal stuff, but there has been some talk
about kibble-based diets contributing to insulinoma. Bob Church wrote a
multi-part series about insulinoma [1] and a good chunk of it was about
possible causation from grains/carbs in kibble-based diets. Dr. Purcell's
wonderful book has a couple of sentences suggesting that insulinoma isn't
very common in places where whole carcasses are fed but that it has picked
up some in places where kibble is becoming more popular.

Now you can all let out a collective groan as I again mention that I have
somehow achieved 100% insulinoma in my crew [2]. They were raised on a
variety of the highest-quality kibble available (TF, Iams/Eukanuba kitten,
etc). They never got lots of sugary treats. It seems to hit my guys at
age 6, but one of them had it at age 4 - it was discovered by accident in
Mojo during a left adrenal surgery. If I ever get young ferrets again,
they will get a different diet, probably of Bob's gravy, thawed frozen
mice, with kibble on the side to snack on. I do not know for sure if
their kibble-based diet led to their insulinoma, but there are some good
smart folks theorizing that this could be the case... so I feel like it
might be best for me to try something different next time around! Whew, I
might have this particular rant out of my system now. :)


-Pam S.

[1] you can find it at

[2] At least they're all stable now, and it was always caught early and
treated with surgery and then pred later. They also get Bob's gravy and
it seems to help, at least they love it! None of my personal guys have
ever had a classic "event" or seizure although one foster guy did, but his
case was let for a long time with no treatment.