Message Number: FHL5414 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2008-07-06 18:52:16 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: a primer on some aspects of insulinoma and of adrenal disease

I love it when I get to learn things!

Both Dr. Mark Finkler and our own very wonderful
FHL ferret vet expert Dr. Jerry Murray spoke about
the hypothesis that carbohydrates might cause
insulinoma in ferrets at about the same time. Dr.
Murray actually spoke about it a month before Dr.
Finkler and they both reached the same hypothesis
independently from work including that of Dr. Deborah
Greco on the possibility that carbohydrates might
contribute to diabetes (the opposite pancreatic
problem) in cats.

I've been informed that the hypothesis that cats are
more inclined to get diabetes from carbohydrates
has not been proven. In the past I have read a number
of papers on this hypothesis in humans and the results
of the studies are all over the place, with more the last
time I checked (I guess last year) not finding a relationship
between levels of carbohydrates eaten and diabetes.

So, I decided to look in PubMed. I do NOT have much time
so what I find in recent abstracts might but might not be
Vet J. 2007 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print] Links
Indoor confinement and physical inactivity rather than the
proportion of dry food are risk factors in the development
of feline type 2 diabetes mellitus.
also links obesity as a possible causative factor

so does
notes higher risk with a certain breed and
begin quote
The univariate risk factor analysis identified being male,
neutered, inactive, weighing >or=5 kg and having a history
of corticosteroid treatment as significant risk factors for the
development of DM in these cats. In addition, male cats
treated with megestrol acetate had a significantly increased
risk of developing DM compared to females. In contrast, there
was no difference in DM occurrence between male and female
Burmese cats. A multivariate classification tree-based model
on the questionnaire data looking for interactions between risk
factors, identified gender as the most important overall risk
factor for the development of DM with low physical activity
being the next most important risk factor for female cats and
breed the next most important for male cats.
end quote
says that renal transplantation is also a risk factor

so going back through 2007 found a lot of studies agreeing
that the causative factors for diabetes in cats are things
like obesity, gender, and inactivity, not diet. I could not
find any in that time frame which I was had time to check
which found diet to blame. Others may want to check earlier
studies and other sources.

A reliable source has told me that as in humans there is not
at this point proof that the cat hypothesis is valid.

The ferret insulinoma from high levels of carbohydrates
hypothesis is also unproven at this point.

The concept IS a reasonable one, but reasonable hypotheses
don't always turn out to work. That's okay, a study does NOT
have to show that a hypothesis works. Often just as much is
learned when they don't pan out. Just remember that its okay
whichever way the results go because all learn, and -- heck --
it might still pan out once it is studied in ferrets.

What is important:
1. Unless the ferret has certain medical problems such as some
kidney ones there is no reason to not try the idea since it might
2. Just remember that it is a hypothesis rather than being well
3. Remember that there may be multiple factors and those might
interact, so even if what you try might help other ferrets that does
not mean that you ferret might not beat the odds in a bad way. RATE
is what matters.

I also found out from my expert informative why I could not find
the info on one of the possible genetic vulnerabilities. It is p53 NOT

That very, very kind soul also let me know that there are two additional
projects which might turn out to work as adrenal disease preventatives.
Both are also GnRF vaccines, but are currently under study in different
species at Pfizer and at U. Florida.

Gads, but I LOVE to learn and so appreciate when others teach me.
Right now I have a big grin on my face from learning so much!
endocrinological studies.


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