Message Number: YG6586 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn M. Martin
Date: 2001-08-23 15:20:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Adrenal & partial
pancreatectomy... pot op questions Looking for Vet Replys as well.

Hi, Dianna,

> I had my little rescue Lucious in to have adrenal surgery on the 3rd of
> July. Since then she has been doing great. It was touch and go because she
> had the left removed, the right cryoed and some removed along with her vena
> cava being ligated.


> I brought
> her home on Florinef and dexamethosone and we weaned them both doe to being
> off them 2 weeks ago and then 24 hours after the last Florinef dose, she
> took a VERY drastic downhill slide at 11pm at night. I thought I was going
> to loose her. She couldn't walk, she was very weak, lethargic, rapid
> breathing, had a small seizure activity and I gave her karo syrup every hour
> thru the night just to keep her sugar up, I slept on the couch with her on
> my chest to ensure she was breathing.

I have, unfortunately, seen this first hand with Pertwee, our big albino male
who had both adrenal glands out (vena cava ligation for the right) and also a
nephrectomy (right kidney removed) due to an unrelated condition. Without
adrenal glands ferrets have to be on hormone replacement therapy for the rest
of their lives. Like your Lucious, our Pertwee gets dexamethasone and
flourinef. Without those medications, or with incorrect dosages, a ferret
without adrenal glands will go into Addisonian Crisis. That is what happened
to Pertwee, and the symptoms were exactly what you described. The Emergency
Clinic vet who saved Pertwee's lief the night of his crisis was really afraid
he was going to lose our boy. It sounds like you did a great job with Lucious.

> I have not seen her grinding
> as much but she does shake/shiver ALL the time, and worse when being held,
> is this possibly from the medication ?

I've seen this too. Once again, it was due to electrolyte imbalance. In
Pertwee's case the potassium level was high and his sodium level was low. We
had to increase his medication, and then the symptoms stopped. We also began
lightly salting his chicken gravy to aid with his sodium level. Eventually, as
Pertwee regained his strength and gained back all the weight he had lost we
were able to decrease the dexamethasone, but actually had to increase the
flourinef due to the significant )and desperately needed) weight gain.

My advice would be to go to your vet and have Lucious' electrolytes checked. I
would not be surprised if they are at least a little off.

Pertwee is 100% well. His electrolytes are stable and he is back to being our
highest energy ferret, just like he was before all the medical problems began.
He has had aboslutely no side effects from the medication, which he has now
been on for 15 months. I expect to be giving him these same medications for
many years to come. Since he is doing so well our vet wants to change
absolutely nothing, and I can't argue with good results and a happy, bouncy,
affectionate ferret.

Good luck, and please let me know how Lucious does.

All the best,
Caity, Pertwee, and his seven wrestling opponents :)