Message Number: YG530 | New FHL Archives Search
From: wsmith
Date: 2001-03-02 09:37:00 UTC
Subject: Questions regarding insulinoma

I suspect one of my ferrets has insulinoma. He had a rather low blood test
at his last vet appointment last summer (68), but was not showing any
clinical signs, so the vet suggested we leave it be. Now he is having
trouble waking up, and is active only for very short times (20 minutes and
only to look for food), and shakes a lot. I have to carry him down the
stairs, because he's afraid of falling. I am going to make an appointment
for the vet next week, but I'd like to know enough to know if the vet knows
what she's doing (I was unhappy with my previous vet who told his student
that ferrets get a lot of Cushings Disease... and have changed, but I've
only seen the new one once.)

I read the Ferret Insulinoma FAQ, and Ferret Health Care, but have some
more questions:

1. Should a ferret suspected of insulinoma have a fasting blood sugar test,
and how long should he fast for? (I think there was a post on the FML
regarding this in Feb, but it's not archived yet.)

2. Is surgery the best way to go, if he has it? Bear in mind he is about 6
and has always been fat. Obese even. He's never had any other major
health problems, but his extreme lethargy worries me. He has always very
bad fur, skin and nails. Should surgery be a partial pancreatectomy, of
removal of visible nodules only?

3. He has about 5 small skin tumors and a chordata (?) at the end of his
tail. My previous vet said not to get them removed unless he was put under
for something else. Well, if I do decide on surgery, is it reasonable to
hope the vet could take care of all these things at once, or would it take
too long, and be too stressful?

Thank you in advance,