Message Number: FHL9996 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Terry"
Date: 2009-10-01 23:53:04 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Flecainide use in ferrets

Hi Sam,

I recently lost a ferret who was diagnosed with a High Grade Second Degree Heart block. She was on a waiting list for a pacemaker. We went through a number of medications but most of the oral medications i.e., Sal-atropine, Pimobendon, were so horrible tasting and caused her a lot of stress to get them. The cardiologists on VIN finally recommended not giving them to her since the stress would make her condition worse.

In the end she was getting sub-q injections of isoproterenol (Isuprel) 3 - 4 times a day. This did bring up her heart rate for a while, however, after about 2 months it stopped being effective and her heart rate dropped even with the isoproterenol. I found her collapsed one day shortly after her dinner meal. She was drooling, disoriented, anxious but also lethargic.

At first I thought she might have developed insulinoma but rushed her to my vet right away. He listened to her heart rate and it was down to 54 beats per minute. Her gave her an injection of Atropine but her heart rate kept dropping. At 50 bpm we decided it was time to euthanize her. When it was down to 24 beats per minute she was given the lethal injection, however, because of her slowed heart rate it took another 20 minutes for the lethal dose to work. Fortunately, she was sedated through all of that and I held her in my arms.

We were told at the onset by the cardiologists that without a pacemaker her condition was terminal. Unfortunately, she did not survive long enough for one to become available.

The pacemakers used in ferrets are human pediatric ones that are refurbished after a human infant dies. Option of course was to purchase a new one for several thousand dollars, which wasn't something I could afford. Whereas a used one is generally donated for free.

I have friends in MA who went through a similar thing waiting for their vet to locate an available pacemaker.

I am sorry Logan has this as well. I wish I had more optimistic news for you. The cardiologists told us that her condition might be managed but only short-term and that she would eventually die of heart failure unless she received a pacemaker. Are you on a waiting list for a pacemaker?


--- In, "Sam" <samwitch54@...> wrote:
> Has anyone used Flecainide for AV block or any other heart conditions in their ferret? If so, what results did you see?
> Other suggestions also welcome.


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