Message Number: SG6693 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2003-11-21 00:08:52 UTC
Subject: carcinoma info sought: Ashling
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Ashling has been very hard to diagnose. Results of ultraound guided aspirates done yesterday, though, point to possible carcinoma. The splenic and liver aspirates were not diagnostic but a nodal one was "suggestive of carcinoma".

She is currently on Prednisolone and Amoxi and has blood (a lot) in her urine, but ultrasound of her kidneys looked okay yesterday. Her abdomen is bloated and feels a touch thick. Spleen is huge. Muscle loss is rapid and happening all over, but especially her legs, having begun with the rear legs and now also happening with the front legs, at what appears to be an increasing rate.

Heart tests out fine.

She is almost 7 years old, lost both adrenal glands cleanly when she was 3 or 3 and 1/2 and has thrived on Florinef and very modest doses of Prednisolone for many years.

I apologise for not getting copies of her pathology reports, but although her alt is still high her bilirubin has returned to normal. She at first needed very high doses of Prednisolone to control her blood glucose levels but that need has reduced since the night she almost died, though an active choice was made to keep it high in case she has lymphoma. Creatine is high. Kidneys ultrasound okay. She has a constant low grade anemia ever since the night she almost died.

On the night she almost died her blood glucose suddenly crashed in a major way. Because she had not long before had that checked we knew it was not a case of missing a slow adjustment to progressively worse sugar levels till the body could no longer adjust.

She has not been a surgical candidate so testing has been done multiple times and finally we have a possible cause.

Lingity still plays, still eats and drinks well, still has attitude, and still loves to kiss and cuddle. In some postions (especially some on her back) she shows some discomfort and her feet and legs sometimes now need massages, too. She can still -- with hard work - climb a stool to get into the bathtub. It's good that she went into this with so very much muscle, having been unusually athletic even for a younger ferret, because she has longer before the muscle loss itself is a huge problem.

Steve (my hubby) and I seek info on this, on possible treatments, and on prognosis (which if memory serves is not a good one). I'm kind of shaken, so my recollections aren't what they should be and I am about to hit the archives and the texts here. We were hoping for insulinoma with an infection going on, but figuring that it was more likely lyphoma so planning on long-term high Prednisolone doses appropriate for lymphoma in a ferret her age, but carcinoma throws us a curve ball. I don't think we've even had a ferret with that before.

Her vet will be consulting with an oncologist on her.

(Yes, this is the ferret who was still climbing 4 feet up the closet taking a remote with her which weighs 1/4 her own weight at age 6 and 1/2 and had been doing that up to the top of the closet (about 8 feet up) just 6 months before that.)