Date: 2002-02-22 17:40:00 UTC
Subject: What exactly does prednisone do for hypoglycemic ferrets?
I am the live-in caretaker of a rescued cat/ferret sanctuary and have
had experience with adrenal disease in ferrets, but this is my first
experience with insulinoma. I have 6 ferts right now, 2 of them my
own, Bandit and Sambo, aka The Big Zambino. My 4 rescues are Molly
Houdini, Papa Old Man Ferret, Speedy Gonzalez and Rosie Doodle.
When I noted my Bandit had all the classic signs of insulinoma
(sleeping too much and therefore not eating, vomiting, loss of use of
hind legs, blank staring) I began feeding him 4-5 times a day meat
baby food. This was about 2 weeks ago. He has improved so much that
he is up playing long after the other 5 have gone to bed and he is
eating his regular food on his own again. I had his fasting glucose
level checked this week, it was a shockingly low 47. My vet, who has
little experience with ferrets, did collaborate with a vet friend who
has a fairly large ferret practice. She prescribed a beginning dose
of .5 ml prednisone 2X a day and adved that this could be raised over
time to a dose of 1.5 ml 2 X a day.
My research seems to indicate that with a level so low, surgery is
the treatment of choice. Is this true? Since surgery at this point
is out of the question due to expense, I need to know: What exactly
does prednisone do? Since he is so much improved, do I have to give
the prednisone? I am very much in favor of homeopathic treatment if
feasible as opposed to alopathic treatment and any input on this is
greatly appreciated as well.
Also, is it OK to give ferts in small amounts cream or half and half?