Message Number: SG18141 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2006-08-20 16:14:07 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] RE: How many insulinoma surgeries should one have ?

Well, at this point I guess it would depend on if just insulinoma tumors could be removed, and if much pancreas was taken before. According to Dr. Bruce Williams, ferret veterinary pathology expert, ferrets have the largest pancreas in relation to body size of any mammal for which that had been studied, so there may be more that could be taken. The vet needs to check the records.

It also will depend on how pre-surgical testing works out for other aspects of heath. Five, though, is not truly old. For some ferrets whose general health isn't great it may be early old, but for many it is still part of middle age.

Also, remember that an adult year for us is like about 10 or for ferrets. So while it may not seem to a human that getting three years was a lot, for a ferret it is a very large chunk of a total lifetime.

Remember, too, how well and rapidly ferrets tend to usually recover post-surgically, and that it is possible to have pain meds. We often give extremely low levels of Torb, an injected opiate for a short while after surgery. Some get it for pain control, but others get slightly larger doses to slow them down because they try doing too much after surgery and could injure themselves as a result.

Here is a study which will help you appreciate the value of the gift of a quality life which you have been providing:

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1998 Nov-Dec;34(6):471-5 Related Articles, Links
Insulinoma in the ferret: clinical findings and treatment comparison of 66
Weiss CA, Williams BH, Scott MV.
Potomac Animal Hospital, Maryland 20854, USA.
The clinical signs and surgical findings were reported for 66 ferrets with
insulinomas confirmed histologically. All of the ferrets were treated with
one of three modalities, and disease-free intervals and survival times
were gathered to determine the most effective treatment. The three
treatment groups included 10 ferrets treated medically, 27 ferrets treated
with pancreatic nodulectomy, and 29 ferrets treated with pancreatic
nodulectomy combined with a partial pancreatectomy. The mean disease-free
intervals for each group were 22, 234, and 365 days, respectively. The
mean survival times for each group were 186, 456, and 668 days,
respectively. Based upon the data, recommendations were made for treating
insulinoma in the ferret.
PMID: 9826281 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Author wrote:
> My 5 yr old boy Bob has had 2 insulinoma surgeries in the past 3 yrs. I am sure the tumor has grown back by the way he acts. He has been on Pred the whole time too. He has lost a lot of muscle mass and now he is loosing his hair too. He might have an adrenal issue too. Tomarrow we are going to a new vet that the prior vet reffered me to. The old vet told me that Bob's tumor could be debulked and that would help him. She said the bigger it gets the worse he will feel and if some is cut out it will turn back time a little. Is this true? My husband thinks it is cruel to keep having surgeries on him. Bob is my baby and I would do anything for him. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.
> Gina

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