Message Number: SG1877 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Debbie Utter"
Date: 2002-10-17 01:42:04 UTC
Subject: Just lost another ferret
To: "FHL" <>
Message-ID: <006301c2757e$65ef35e0$8f3beed8@dutter>

I just lost my third ferret in eleven months. In June, Templeton had adren=
al surgery (left removed; right partially removed) along with his spleen be=
cause it had a one-inch growth on it. He never grew his hair back, or his =
old energy. In fact, he continued to lose more hair and was almost entirel=
y hairless by this point. I took him to the vet last Friday because it app=
eared he might have a prostrate infection or UTI. That's when the vet disc=
overed a lime-sized tumor in his abdomen. It wasn't there in June, so it w=
as obviously an aggressive, fast-growing tumor. We scheduled exploratory s=
urgery for this afternoon to remove the tumor, depending on what else we mi=
ght find when he was opened up. If he was full of cancer, we'd close him b=
ack up and just keep him comfortable. When he was opened up, it was found =
that the tumor had the left kidney completely engulfed, so the left kidney =
was removed, as well as more (or complete?) removal of the right adrenal. =
The abdomen looked clean otherwise. The vet called at 3:45 to say that th=
e surgery went well, although Templeton was still out. Templeton was still =
under the effects of the anesthesia (ie, he was still out) when I picked hi=
m up at 5pm. They sent me home with a heating pad to keep him warm. An ho=
ur after bringing him home, he died. He never did wake up. I simply heard=
4 or 5 gurgly breaths, and he was gone. Now, of course, I wish I hadn't h=
ad the surgery done. When he had the first surgery in June, the vet said h=
e recommended treating any further adrenal symptoms medically rather than p=
utting him through further surgery, since he did seem to take a bit longer =
to recover from surgery. Because of the lime-sized tumor, though, it seeme=
d riskier to allow the tumor to continue to grow, not knowing what we were =
dealing with. We would've done ultrasound first, but the vet's practice do=
esn't have one. I decided to put the money that would've been used for an =
ultrasound toward the surgery. Of course, because of the outcome, I'm blam=
ing myself for putting Templeton through another surgery. I guess I'm just=
venting...I only have two ferrets left, and one of them has an osteoma or =
chordoma on her head - the lump/tumor is quite big now, and it's just a mat=
ter of time until it deteriorates her quality of life enough that I'll have=
to put her down. I am starting to hear "loud swallows" when she isn't eve=
n eating, and it does seem to take her longer to chew her food. I'll proba=
bly have to put her down by Christmas.

Sorry if I'm totally out of line for bringing up this next item, but I gues=
s I'm seeking opinions (no flames, please - I'm genuinely seeking proper pr=
otocal). I can't help but expect to be reimbursed for today's procedure si=
nce Templeton never recovered from surgery. Does anyone have experience wi=
th a similar situation and how their vet handled the bill? Or do any vets =
care to comment about their policy in this situation? I know surgery is a =
risk and there are never any guarantees...I would like to know before I app=
roach the vet with the possibility of either reducing the bill, or reimburs=
ing me (I paid the bill, $334, in full when I picked Templeton up).

Thank you for your time.