Message Number: SG6696 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2003-11-21 04:11:36 UTC
Subject: RE: Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Message-ID: <>

Debbie, first of all see my recent posts, all labeled "anemia". First of all, are you certain it's autoimmune anemia? Does he actually have damaged precursor cells? My Sniffles (just turned 3 this month) does not, so we know it's not autoimmune in his case. Here are the treatments Sniffles has had:

3 blood transfusions of appox 20-30 cc each time. Sniffs reacted VERY badly to the preservatives in the blood the 1st 2 transfusions, and we found we could only transfuse about 1cc every 2-3 minutes to prevent a reaction (I just sat with him in the waiting room and infused 30 cc's over like an hour and a quarter) Transfusing this slowly prevented any problems.

Dexamethasone injections. .2ml of 2mg/ml everyday or every other day

One bone marrow transplant. Actually a very simple and inexpensive procedure to do in a ferret

4 Lupron injections including one yesterday. Sniffles does not look like an adrenal ferret. He has some thining of his hair on the tip of his tail, and 2 weeks ago he started acutally becoming sexually agressive towards me- following me around chuckling at me and holding my arm with his paws (okay, now what do I do Ma???) However, I can tell you the Lupron is helping him, but may have to be used up to every week to be effective.

His low PCV hit a low of below 7 when he needed to be transfused and put on oxygen. (He was close to death at this point so his PCV was not done, but he's fully functional at 7, so heaven knows how low it was) His high was last week at 34. He dropped to 22 in one week when it was done yesterday, but from his color I know he's better today after a 125 mg Lupron shot.

Because of the holiday next week, we are scheduling his adrenal surgery for the 5th or 10th of Dec. If his PCV is low on the 5th he will be transfused that day and then operated on the 10th.

My advice, at a minimum, is to make friends with your closest breeder and get those big boys lined up for blood donations if necessary. Consider a bone marrow transplant. All you need is another healthy, preferably slim, ferret. I'm not sure it will be as effective in autoimmune disease with deformed cells- epogen may help there, while it would not help Sniffs.

Sniffles feels and acts like a normal ferret even when his PCV goes down to 7, and the fact that his PCV has gone up to 34 he is clearly making red cells on his own, probably due to the bone marrow transplant. So there is no way I'm giving up. Even if I have to keep transfusing him once a month to keep him going I will do that because his quality of life is so good when we can keep his PCV at even a low number.