From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-08-25 23:05:00 UTC
Subject: Re: (unknown): starving ferret, long GI prob, poss.
seizures, vision loss -- original post # 21 in digest 356, 8/25
Amber wrote in part:
>So there you have it. About 5 months ago this lil cutie was a very
>happy, healthy ferret...Now...she's barely hanging on. She's deaf,
>blind, anorexic, and now has Insulinoma. The vet never suspected
>Insulinoma..that's why she was never tested. He's sure all the above
>symptoms were related...but said they are not usually symptoms of
>Insulinoma. She just became lethargic about 2 days ago. He didnt
>really discuss surgery in any great detail since he wanted to see if
>she reacted to the Prednisone first. From what I read...the cancer
>nodules spread quickly and very frequently return even after surgery.
>SO...i really dont know what to do at this point. If the pred doesnt
>help her soon and she continues to decline...i'm afraid she's just
>going to wither away since she's already sooooooooo tiny.
>I also wanted to ask about seizures....I've read that they are common
>with Insulinoma. I've noticed her standing in one spot with her eyes
>half closed and rocking forward and backward....is this a seizure???
>I want to be there to help her ..but i'm not sure what to look for.
>Any help would be grately appreciated.
>*love & light*
>Amber, Nilla, Ferris, and Rikki
Well, I'm a touch slow today (ragweed so a touch oxygen deprived --
take what I say with a grain of salt and combine it with what others
say) but it sounds like there might be a couple of things going on at
the same time. I would guess that if it were lympho which had set up
in several places they could be related, or my brain's just missing
First off, be reassured that they adjust very well and quite rapidly
to blindness so if that remains be reassured. It sounds like she has
always been deaf. Scent is their primary info source.
Have blood tests been done? Very importantly, has blood sugar been
run? In her case, given the starvation, I think it could make sense
to also check insulin levels in case starvation is affecting her
blood sugar levels.
Yes, they can stand there seeming spaced out or can become lethargic
with insulinoma, and untreated insulinoma can damage the eyes.
Insulinoma is not a cancer, but it is possible to have cancer like
lympho act like insulinoma acts in symptoms; it did with Fritter
years ago. There was just recently an excellent post by Bruce
Williams about this; check past posts.
Again, do remember that it not that unusual to have more than one
thing happening at once.
Starvation itself can also produce blood sugar deprivation.
For those who aren't surgical candidates there are medical options
such as Prednisone and Proglycem if insulinoma is present. Pred can
also at times improve appetite.
For extensive info look in sources such as: