Message Number: FHL5532 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Lisa"
Date: 2008-07-18 17:08:50 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Insulinoma and Lymphoma

Hi all,
I just joined this group in hopes of getting some ideas for our
current situation. My husband and I have had ferrets for 11 years
and have had a total of 6 ferrets. Right now we have just two little
old girls left. Zoe is 6 years and Bella is 5 years. We've dealt
with adrenal, IBD, and other issues in our years with ferrets but
amazingly this is our first experience with the two diseases we are
battling at the moment.

Zoe has adrenal disease (has been treated twice with Lupron and doing
well with that), IBD (currently stable with pumpkin/turkey baby food
mix added to her diet twice a day), and now she has been diagnosed
with Lymphoma. Our vet yesterday said that she doesn't have the most
aggressive form of Lymphoma but that she also doesn't have the slow
progressing form either. She has an enlarged spleen and it appears
as though the cancer has spread to her liver. She has been put on
pred in an effort to slow it down but I know it's just a matter of
time. Up until yesterday, Zoe was as active as could be...running,
playing, climbing furniture, jumping off of the couch, picking on the
cat...everything a ferret should do. I suspect that had something to
do with the pred she was on for her IBD. We thought we had it all
under control with diet and took her off of it three days
ago...little did we know that it was keeping her lymphoma in check.
Her glucose was low yesterday and we aren't sure if that is due to
all of her other medical issues or if she possibly has insulinoma as
well. Up until this point, she's never shown any signs of
insulinoma. She's back on the pred at an even higher dose and I just
hope to see my Zoe being Zoe again.

Bella has adrenal disease, IBD, and now has been diagnosed with
insulinoma. Our vet (a very good ferret vet) did mention the
possibility of the IBD causing the low glucose but also feels there
is a chance that the insulinoma is the cause. She has been on .5ml
of pred twice a day for a couple of months and she just doesn't seem
as peppy as I think she should be. She does walk around and explore
and every once in a while has a playful moment of dancing and dooking
but for the most part she walks around and explores for 20 minutes -
half an hour at a time and then looks for a cozy place to sleep.
Bella also gets a turkey/pumpkin mixture twice a day (with her
pred). Bella is at a very good weight at the moment. Just about the
only thing she does fast is eat.

At the moment our vet has suggested that we add fish oil and arginine
to Zoe's pumpkin and turkey in order to help with her lymphoma. He
also feels we should add protein powder to both girls mix to pep them
both up a bit. And, I'm looking to add a few protein rich items to
their mix (chicken livers is the suggestion given to us by our vet)
and possibly scrambled eggs with the shells once a week. Our vet has
also said that if Bella doesn't pep up with the extra protein added
to her diet, we should look at surgery as there are no other options.

Now, my questions...
With Bella being 5 years old and having adrenal and IBD, will surgery
make a difference for her and would it be worth it? I would hate for
her to go through surgery all just for the insulinoma to come back
months later. At the same time, there is a chance that this is the
IBD causing her to have issues with her glucose and in which case we
would be opening her up for nothing. Any thoughts would be

Also, Zoe has dropped weight in the past month due to her Lymphoma.
Is there anything I can add to her mix to help her put weight on that
won't mess with her glucose levels in the event that she has
insulinoma? Obviously the normal nutrical, ensure, and similar ideas
won't work in this case. Trying to avoid sugars and carbs in any
form if at all possible.

Sorry for the long post. I'm just trying to wrap my head around all
of this today. We just had to put down our last male two months ago
and the thought of losing more so quickly makes me sick.
Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions!


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