Date: 2010-11-18 15:25:59 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: 6 yr old male with failing liver and possible insulinoma
Okay, jaundice and bad liver numbers can
also be from inflammation. One great thing
about the liver is that among all of the body's
organs it possesses a far better tendency to
regenerate. So, if you use the word "failure"
be sure that word is used correctly, especially
for the liver.
You ask if problems with one organ in that
region can cause problems with others. The
answer is yes and there are several ways.
For example, did you know that if a very large
gall stone is released that not only can
diarrhea result but pancreatitis (inflammation
of the pancreas) can happen and so can hepatitis
We've even had one who was prone to furballs
due to a stomach malformation who had one
of those cause concurrent hepatitis and
pancreatitis just from the irritation that mass
caused in the general region, resulting in
inflammation of neighboring organs. Yes, he
did survive for a few reasons: we had great
vets who got him through a difficult surgery
that he had to have to survive despite his being
compromised, he had luck, he was tough enough,
and the reason for his problems was one of the
possible causes that can be tackled.
With the liver the number to really watch most is
the bilirubin one and you can find info on that in
Now, on the other hand you are talking about
other organs having problems, too. It would be
very good to know if the kidneys are concentrating
urine or not. Your vet can check that urine value
and it will tell a lot about how bad the kidneys are.
Could you get a copy of the blood work and urine
numbers and post all values, not just the bad ones
because vets also figure the ratios between some
to get more information?
It sounds like there is also a stomach ulcer from the
very dark green stool. Do you know about how to
time Carafate for that it is given not at the same time
as either food or meds? Digested blood presents
as very dark green to tarry black.
Liver inflammation will cause more bile to present in the
urine and less in the feces so the feces becomes gray
or grayish, but the urine becomes orangey into brownish-
amber. In addition, hepatitis causes jaundice, liver pain,
itchy blisters, etc.
There may also be a mouth sore or a mouth ulcer. Sometimes
feeding a ferret who does not want to eat can result in an
injury, and kidney disease certainly can cause mouth ulcerations.
BTW, those can be made more comfortable with a bit of
plain, original Listerine on a cotton swab. I found that hard to
believe until the first time I tried it for a ferret.
So, the cause is all important here, also the condition of the
organs. If the pancreas and the kidneys can be gotten to
behave better then the liver also has a better chance since it
so good at healing, and you say the urine color and skin
color are improving, right? If he is lucky it might be a whopper
of an infection that is passing, perhaps food poisoning (certainly
E. coli can cause these symptoms but so can other things),
perhaps some form of virus may be there.
If he got badly dehydrated that, too, would challenge his kidneys
but with sufficient hydration, IV as needed, subcu with loads of
oral fluid, too, when that is sufficient, acute kidney failure can
be bounced back from though there will be damage. We had one
who was prone to that and died in his 4th bout when he was
seven years old; in his case supportive care got him through
it each time, though the one that was caused by temporary
diabetes also caused him to suddenly become blind and we
needed to use scent mapping in the home to help him.
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