Message Number: YG872 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Michael Janke
Date: 2001-03-07 14:11:00 UTC
Subject: RE: adrenal disease/insulinoma

> We would be very grateful if you could help us
> with some questions about prednisone and diazoxide.
> We are in a rather desperate situation for help.

Hi Sheila,

The starting dosage for Diazoxide is from 5-10mg/kg, twice a day and the
maximum in ferrets is considered to be 60mg/kg a day. Side effects can
include vomiting and anorexia.

My personal experience with Diazoxide (Proglycem) in one ferret has not been
positive, while others report good results. I started Beasley on Diazoxide
in the hopes that I could reduce his prednisone dosage. Vomiting was not a
problem, but it did seem to negatively impact his appetite. And after two
months of usage, there was absolutely no change in his blood glucose levels.
He was getting 17mg twice a day, and while there was certainly room for an
increase, the battle to get him to eat was hard enough at that dosage and I
didn't see the point of increasing it. Perhaps if I had increased it
enough, a higher blood glucose level would have improved how he felt overall
and therefore his appetite.

Since diazoxide inhibits insulin release and decreases cellular uptake of
glucose, it doesn't seem likely that diazoxide would drive a ferret's blood
glucose even lower. However, perhaps we can't predict everything that can
possibly happen when using drugs on a species for which they weren't
originally intended. I can't say why your ferret would exhibit increased
symptoms of hypoglycemia after administering Diazoxide, and perhaps one of
the vets here can comment on that.

As with pred, I have not heard of a problem using Lupron in combination with
diazoxide. Since adrenal disease and insulinoma almost seem to go hand in
hand, I'm sure if this was an issue it would have come up, but to my
knowledge it has not.

The maximum effective dosage of pred is around 2mg/kg, twice a day.
Although someone here posted that they give their ferret 5mg, twice daily
and with good results, I have not heard of that much being given. Beasley,
all 2.3 kg of him, gets 0.75mg twice a day and he's been battling insulinoma
for almost three years now. I do feel that giving pred twice daily is more
effective than giving it once daily, even while keeping the total amount the

Hopefully, one of the vets on the list will jump in here. I speak not from
medical training, but simply from personal experience and dealing with these
diseases in ferrets for a number of years.