Message Number: FHL12295 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Troy Lynn Eckart
Date: 2010-10-02 16:21:04 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] insulinoma seizure

Living in the great plains area I'm fully aware of how difficult it is to find ferret knowledgeable veterinarians, even for something as common as insulinoma. While a trip to the vet is definitely the best option, some vets won't see ferrets and others don't know what they are doing and can cause more harm to the ferret. This is where it is important for us to know what needs to be done - information about the more common ferret illnesses can be found on the web and taking a printout with symptoms and treatments with you to the vet can be very important for these situations.

If you can convince a vet to check the glucose (our vet sticks the tip of the tail to get blood for the test and uses a human glucometer to check levels - there's information in the archives on the best monitor for pets) this will at least give an idea as to how low the glucose is at the time. After checking, if it reads lower than 70 we start with pediapred, and I also give lactated ringers at that time. Pediapred takes time to get into the system so for very low readings, under 50, we give dextrose added to the lactated ringers and give a dexamethasone injection, and feed a baby food recipe right away and frequently.

When a ferret is having a low glucose episode, it may be helpful to try to raise the glucose either with glutose, honey, pancake syrup, or cake icing. A little on the tip of q-tip (never put fingers in the mouth of a seizing ferret - I did that once and she clamped down on the tip of my finger and I couldn't remove her teeth from my flesh till after the seizure stopped and then the teeth were slightly embedded in my bone... I just held her close and let the tears flow and learned a very important lesson) or a plastic eye dropper (never use glass because if they clamp down they can shatter the glass) placed into the mouth on outside of the gum will allow the substance to be absorbed. Be sure that if the ferret is unable to swallow you don't push it in the mouth. Unfortunately this can be a slow process but in a pinch there is sometimes only so much we can do. As soon as the ferret is able to swallow on it's own, I give meat baby food to avoid another glucose crash.

If you live an area where ferret knowledgeable vets are uncommon or not available during emergency hours, it would be a good idea to print out ferret medical information and keep it in a file or binder just in case there comes a time you need it. That is quicker than booting up the computer, finding the sites, and printing the information at the time of the emergency.



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