From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2009-04-02 15:42:24 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Low blood sugar and irregular/low heart rate
Consider A/V Heart Node Block. It has a
tendency to go hand in hand with insulinoma
Low blood glucose levels are hypothesized
as a cause or as a worsening factor in other
The vet can check to see if that is the cause
of the irregular beat. An EKG (ECG) will tell
but really bad ones can be told just by listening.
You can read about this in an old compilation in
the FHL Files section or by using the FHL Archives,
and even when you read the compilation you should
be sure to use the archives for later info.
Look for posts containing phrases like
"Heart Node Block"
"A/V Node Block"
The separate FHL Archives are excellent:
The atria and the ventricles wind up with different
rhythms and pacing due to damage to the electrical
node in Node Block.
There are 4 categories of Node Block. Level 1 often
does not need treatment, and may remain Level 1
forever or may worsen. Level 2 needs treatment
and with treatment can be survived for years; it
may worsen or may remain a Level 2. Level 2
Sinus is a worse form of Level 2 and always worsens.
How long those ferrets last with treatment depends
on how rapidly it becomes a Level 3. Level 3 is
Complete A/V Node Block. With treatment a ferret
can last months unless there have been major
medication advances. We had one who had a Level
3 (Complete) node block go 9 months with treatment
along with insulinoma in a portion of the pancreas
that can not have surgery, and were told that was
more than normally would have been expected.
So, the vet needs to find out what type and (if
applicable) what level of rhythm problem exists.
It can help to have a consulting veterinary cardiologist
who is used to Node Block in ferrets.
We've also seen ventricular arrhythmia with
dilated cardiomyopathy and that ferret responded
beautifully to Digoxin. In fact, she went about a
year and and half with her heart disease, even
though she was at risk of immediate death at any
time before the ventricular rhythm could be improved.
She was having a lot of bigeminis and even some
trigeminis -- very serious condition. For this sort of
heart problem chest x-ray, EKG, and ultrasound are
She also had consulting cardiologists.
Of course, with A/V Node Block an ultrasound
and sometime x-ray also wind up important in the
medication protocol design.
Sometimes a seizure can cause a temporary atrial
arrhythmia in other species so maybe it can in
ferrets. I don't know if one can cause a temporary
Sukie (not a vet)
Recommended ferret health links:
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