Message Number: FHL11126 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tressie"
Date: 2010-03-17 10:39:45 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: sub-clinical lymphoma?

Hi Eileen,

I am sorry to hear you are dealing with lymphoma.

I am giving you my personal perspective on this having been through it a number of times. My priority is always 'quality of life' rather than length of life. Therefore, any treatment given to a ferret with a diagnosis of lymphoma should be to ameliorate symptoms, make the ferret more comfortable, and manage pain.

Chemo is not curative, however, it has been shown to extend life in most cases. You can do a full protocol, invasive and expensive and requiring a lot of care. Or you can do a partial protocol, for example, asparaginase (Elspar) or prednisolone, as well as, other options as recommended by veterinary oncologists.

Chemo can put the disease into remission, which is a temporary respite, not a cure. When the lymphoma comes back (and it always does), it will be with a vengence.

My choice has been to aim for remission to give temporary relief to the ferret and give me an opportunity to spend quality time with my precious fuzzkid and to come to terms with impending death.

Now if the ferret has been on prednisone/prednisolone for a long time prior to the diagnosis of lymphoma, then chemo may not be as effective.

It is likely now that the tumor has been 'disturbed' you will begin seeing more clinical symptoms surface i.e., loose stools, teeth grinding, pain responses, inappetance, nausea, fatigue, etc.

With a 6 year-old I would focus on making him comfortable, i.e., good pain management. Tramadol (1-5mg/kg BID)is great and does not have the sedating effects of other analgesics. It does have a bitter taste even when compounded and therefore, I get the injectible kind and give it via sub-q injection, which works very well and is absorbed better. If you use a fine gauge insulin needle 30 or 31, they don't even notice they are getting an injection. Your vet can show you how to give it.

I would also suggest supplementing his regular kibble with a nutritious duk soup to maximize nutrient absorption.

As symptoms begin to surface you can add other medications, with your vet's guidance, to deal with them.

Starting chemo early, whether its a full protocl or partial, BEFORE full blown symptoms appear tends to have a better outcome. Again it is not a cure.

Good luck!


--- In, "eileenmarion" <eileenmarion@...> wrote:
> I need some advice on how to proceed...
> Eileen


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