Message Number: YG7097 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Ilena Ayala
Date: 2001-09-07 23:03:00 UTC
Subject: Urgent - hypercalcemia help needed

Katie is a 5 year old spayed female ferret with no significant history of
previous health issues. A week ago I noticed she was extremely thin (she
has been hiding and I've been working long hours so I hadn't seen too much
of her over the previous week) and she went in to the (very ferret
knowlegable) vet last Friday. She is kept inside with one other ferret the
same age, no outdoor travel/shows, I haven't even set foot in a pet store
in ages. The other ferret appears fine.

She has apparently not been eating (hence the weight loss). She is
lethargic, and has gotten more so over the past week, with hind end
paralysis becoming evident. No signs of a blockage or masses on the xray
(regular, not a barium) or palpation. No teeth grinding, stools (when
present from force feeding) are normal in color and loose (probably because
she is being fed watery gruel). No significant vomiting. No sensitive
areas on palpation.

Weight - .8 lbs down from a norm of 1.3-1.4 lbs. Temp is normal.

Vet ran various tests and administered sq fluids as she was dehydrated.
Note that some test results were likely affected by the dehydration.
X ray looked normal.

bloodwork/urinalysis came back as (norms in parenthesis):
BUN 67 10-45)
Cholesterol 336 (96-249)
Calcium 14.6 (from outside lab who cites normal range as 7.6-9.6. A
subsequent test in house last night came back with Calcium as 16+, in other
words, basically off the chart of what his equipment can read and
noteworthy is that it went up from last week.)
Globulins 4.2
SUPT (liver function) 249 (119)

WBC 3.4 (3.5-3.7)
RBC 11.0 (6.7-12)

Last night's chemistry:
BUN 63
Ca 16+
Globulins 4.2

She is currently home with me for force feeding, fluid (12cc 2x day sq) and
antibiotic (Amoxy) therapy. She was given Azium cortisone at the vets today.

I'm looking for any possible cause to explore, treatment/diagnostic
suggestions, (particularly for the elevated calcium levels); the vet listed
the three most likely to cause it as a) tumor, b) chronic kidney failure c)
parathyroid disease. She is not a good candidate for exploratory surgery
due to her current emaciated condition :-( but we may do an ultrasound
early next week.


Ilena Ayala