Message Number: YG888 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-07 22:27:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Sundance's blood test results...Digest Number 43

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., steve austin <kazpat1@j...> wrote:
> IANAV (the Ferret Health List version of "I Am Not A Lawyer" B-),
> wouldn't you be concerned by the Ca/P ratio?
> Brett
> I think the Ca is a bit low because of the albumin, the Ca tests
only the
> bound Ca- which depends on the albumin, and not the total body
> I know there is a way to correct the calcium when the albumin is
> anyway maybe this is throwing off the ratio??

Guys - you are staring too hard at these results - The values of
albumin and calcium are so minimally out of the normal range as to be
of little importance. If you really want to apply adjusted calcium
ratio (True Calcium = [calcium -(0.4)(serum protein) + 3.3], it
works out to 8.76. For the adjusted calcium to be anything but
normal, that serum calcium and serum protein have got to be almost
nothing.Additionally, that formula is designed for dogs, and I don't
even know if it works for ferrets.

But the albumin is only minimally low, the calcium is minimally low,
the the phosphorus is normal. I don't worry about Ca/P ratios when
the values are normal. I also don't bat an eyelash with albumins over
2.5 - (my idea of normal, when you factor in the prevalence of bowel
inflammation in ferrets.)

One other thing about low calcium levels associated with
hypoalbuminemia - they don't result in clinical signs.of
hypocalcemia. The protein-bound calcium fraction which we measure is
not what is important to the body, its the free or ionized calcium.
The body will adjust the free calcium to exert its effect pretty much
regardless of the level of the albumin, so it's never worth working
up a sweat over. In ferrets, true hypocalcemia is almost unheard
of. The much more common, and potentially more dangerous problem is

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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