From: Gene Weber
Date: 2002-02-28 12:28:00 UTC
Hello to all,
Today I had to put Max asleep, no option. She was 4yr/6mo old with
a 2yr history of adrenal tumors and insulinoma. She had two adrenal
tumors removed. She was very active and happy and playful with Sam
(sister) until two weeks ago.
She broke out with a severe rash and via Dr. Williams we decided to
use children's Benadryl, which worked after a few days. But, she
got worse with low blood sugar symptoms. It then came to my
attention that the Benadryl was not "dye free" or sugar free; my
first mistake. So, I got the proper Benadryl and the rash cleared
up. Still no improvement and I put her on a higher protein diet 6
times a day by force because she would not eat. Until then, her diet
was perfect and she ate and responded well to the predisome 0.4mg BID
for the last year.
Then she began to de-hydrate, so we force fluids. Still she was
slipping. Something was wrong, and I tried to do everything to
help. First problem I found, was the last food I bought was over a
year past the expire date and had a bad odor. Bought new food and
made sure I checked the date. I thought this may had caused the
Next, was to sterilize the bedding and cage to kill any rash
causing agents. It gets cleaned weekly anyway but maybe I left some
Then, I thought the medicine was made improper and took it back to
the pharmacists and he assured me it was made proper. Still he did
not check the medicine or make a new batch. This just did not sound
right. I took it back again on a Saturday and told him to verify the
compounds as I always specify: raspberry flavor, sugar free, and
no alcohol. No alcohol was ruled out because once he made the
medicine with a children's liquid predisome which does contain
alcohol (thin, clear, and does not need refrigeration). Next was
the flavor. The flavor was made by X Corp. and had no contents
labeled except the logo, name, flavor, stock number and a 800
phone number. Well, X was not open for the weekend and the
pharmacists had no clue. We had to wait until Monday when he called
and told me to come get the new medicine. This is what happened.
When I told him over the last year no alcohol that was no problem.
When I told him raspberry flavor no sugar, this was no problem
either since X flavors turn out to be sugar free.
But, the filler base was not water. It was a glucose based filler.
Thats pure sugar!!! He took my instructions to mean sugar free
flavor but never stopped to look at the filler bottle for contents.
WHOW. For over 1 year I was pumping pure sugar into my girl and did
not know it. When I gave the Benadryl to her (my fault due to
fatigue) it must have push her over the edge. All along the medicine
was feeding her cancer. Total benadryl intake was 2.5ml over one
This morning she collapsed and would not take any food or water.
I went to my vet who is a great guy but not a ferret expert. He felt
it was not due to low sugar but invasive cancer to the brain or
heart. We did a blood sugar count and it was 96. That is almost
perfectly normal. He had a hard time drawing blood and noticed that
under her neck was a large pocket of thick fluid. In his view this
was a classic sign of heart failure. His conclusion was that the
benadryl and predisome was not the cause based on the sugar count and
the excellent health management I gave her all this time.
However, the insulinoma had probably spread to the heart and was
causing failure. After eating she would become cold. Her heart
could not compete with digestion and body temperature regulation.
The vet said she could not make it more than a few days and it was no
need to force her to eat and drink and make her uncomfortable. The
best thing was to let her pass on and so we gave her a shot and I
kissed her for about 15 minutes.
She is now buried in a nice spot with our best iris above. Sam is
OK. The reason I posted this is to get people to pay attention to the
details. I though I knew most of them but:
1. Always check the dates on EVERYTHING for
expiration. If there is no date, don't buy it!
The pet stores don't check.
2. Always question the pharmacist in EVERY detail about meds
for ferrets because they just don't understand!
3. Always read every label on every product and if it does
say exactly what is in it, don't buy it or use it!
4. It can not get clean enough. Think about residue!
I am grateful for everyone's help on this net for Sam and Max.
Also to Sue who E-Mailed me about Dr. X: I was overcome by
events and a lack of sleep caring for Max. I did not make it to his
office and it probably would have not matter anyway. But, in the
future I will get Sam there. Thanks for your response!
They both are well taken care of and very much loved!!!!!!
Sam and Max
Wilford E. "Gene" Weber
GOD BLESS P. O. Box 6431
AMERICA Portsmouth, Virginia 23703-0431
[Edited by moderator to remove vet's name, as per rules treating vets' names do not appear here. Because the maker of the flavor might be confused with teh filler used I removed that company's name as well to prevent confusion. --Sukie]
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