From: "Bonnie Russell"
Date: 2009-04-17 15:08:34 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: ferret with spinal problems
My Blackie also suffers from a combination/possible spinal injury. He is roughly 5 years old (a rescue) and came down with adrenal, insulinoma, and lymphoma all within a short period. I first noticed the insulinoma and before i could schedule surgery, I also noticed his lymph nodes under his arms were enlarged. Bad news as I had previously 2 ferrets who died from lymphoma. Anyway, the vet increased his pred to 0.3cc twice daily (5/15ml), and he had one does of ELSPAR (chemo, and started Leukeran 2 times weekly. All was going fairly well when the same symptoms you described began one day. Falling over, going in circles, general weakness on all areas. My vet also thought ear/spinal lymphoma, or injury. He gave him antibiotics (Baytril), and then Torbutol for pain as he was shaking. He had stopped eating (his favorite past time) on his own and requires hand feeding duck soup. Initially he improved to the point of being able to get enough momentum to stand and then run, with a fe
w circles, and then make it to the litter box. Unfortunately, he has since plateaued and still requires handfeeding (although eats well), same meds, and seems depressed as well. I started him on acupuncture which has an immediately positive effect but then only seems to last a day before he is back to same. His recent bloodwork shows all lymphocytes at good levels so i feel somewhat certain that it was a spinal injury, and does not seem to be getting better. I honestly never thought i would have him this long, but now i often wonder whether i am doing the right thing by allowing him to simply survive, without a great quality of life.
Btw, he loves it outside on a nice sunny, warm (as in 60's) day so i try to get him out on nice days. My vet has really worked closely with this one and I will return again soon to dicuss any other steps we might take. Suggestions also welcome (Trying to avoid MRI due to cost...as the vet says the treatments remain similar regardless of injury or lymphoma)
THanks and good luck with your little one
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