Message Number: FHL2221 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 11:33:30 -0400
To: "Ferret Health List" <email@example.com>
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Suspect Insulinoma
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "ferretzrule" <ferretzrule@...> wrote:
> I took Nibbles to the vet today after a two hour fast, it was almost
> three hours after the wait. He was just beginning to shake, but it
> could have been nerves. His BG was 122. I believe they drew the blood
> after iso administration. My question is, what should the next step
> be? My vet is talking about a glucose "curve" test...but he also
> mentioned a new test being done on cats that is not as complicated.
Your description of the symptoms certainly sounds like insulinoma,
especially since rubbing Karo Syrup on his gums brought him out of the
problem. But, the fact that his BG level after 3 hours of fasting does
leave me wondering. How did your vet do the test? Was it done with a
glucometer? And, if so, what kind?
Currently, there are veterinary glucometers, but none have test strips
calibrated for ferrets. So, it is possible if a glucometer was used,
the reading may be a little off.
I have not heard of a glucose "curve" test being used where insulinoma
is suspected - it is usually done with diabetic animals. As a result, I
am not sure how helpful it would be with insulinoma. Also, since you
did not give the name of the other test your vet mentioned, I can not
comment on it at all.
My own experience with insulinoma is that the BG level can vary a lot
from one time to another, but it is usually on the low side - although
not always below normal. I don't think that giving Iso to draw the
blood should have much if any effect on the reading - my vet always uses
a little Iso when drawing blood.
For now, I would suggest feeding Nibbles a diet high in high quality
meat based protein, and avoid any sugary treats. I have had some
ferrets with insulinoma that could be managed by diet alone, and without
use of pred or diazoxide. What I would do is make sure they ate a
little every few hours. I would give something like Hills A/D or a meat
baby food - just a little bit - but every few hours. Feeding a high
protein diet will help offset the problems caused by the over production
of insulin, and will also avoid glucose spikes.
International Ferret Congress Health Issues Coordinator
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