Date: 2011-01-05 04:41:05 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Ferret with probable gastric ulcers - maybe gastric lymphoma?
Sorry this is so long, but I'm really trying to figure out what to try.
I took in a ferret on Dec 23 approx 3 yrs old who had been taken in by a shelter and then passed on to me. She was known to have health issues - enlarged vulva (given a lupron shot and vulva regressed in size over a few weeks)and during the approx four weeks with the previous rescuer had basic bloodwork, fecals. Only significant finding was low bg - in the high 40's. The person who had her hoped to have exploratory surgery done (they thought insulinoma)but the animal was too ustable. She was not eating well with the previous rescuer at first,but after hand feeding "soupy" food eventually after a few weeks did start eating dry food.Her bg got to the low 50's so it was known she had insulinoma, but was too unstable for exploratory surery
When I received her on the 23rd she was eating kibble and seemed stable, but after about four days quit eating as much and her bg continued low. Could be the change in home - and seeing other ferrets though they had different play times and cages.But I got worried - when I tried to feed her she ground her teeth. I started her on prednisolone 0.25mg twice daily. Tthe holidays made it difficult to get her in to the vet quickly.
By the time I got her to the substitute vet on the 28th(my regular vet off for Xmas week) she was not eating well even when hand fed(about 3 ccs of food at a time). Blood work showed nothing unusual - think her lyphocytes were up but forgot to get a copy. Her bg was still low so the pred was increased. Subbing vet said (she has owned ferrets)that gastric ulcers likely so start her either on carafate (which she regurgitated at first) or pepcid (which I used instead at first). Vet also suggested amoxi, but after reading Dr Williams post from some years ago where he suggested trying to get the ulcers healed would be more effective I gave up on the amoxi since she hates all the meds.
I then went back to trying the carafate 2 x 1ml daily and also added in the pepcid twice a day. She responded initially by eating some of the liquidy Gerbers, but only 3-5 ccs at a time. She produced a few stools which still looked bad - firm but dark - digested blood from looking at Dr Williams photos on a website
These episodes of nausea (she does the tooth grinding) and trying to vomit are becoming chronic (she gurgled and spat after I tried dripping food in her mouth a drop at a time just an hour ago)and things are not looking promising.
I just tried another dose of pepcid - gave her 0.5mg this time - usually its 0.25mg, and as I held her to drip it in I swear I heard a gurgle from her esophagus - as though even that .25cc volume was having a hard time getting down her throat.
Since she ate OK eventually with the previous rescuer I'm wondering if she had the beginnings of an ulcer, then had a temporary improvement, and that the stress of the move caused it to recur. If anyone has had success with a particular drug protocol - which ulcer med given at what time before feeding I'd be grateful to know it.I think one of Sukie's posts had what she used in the recent past, but could not track it down.
This kind of problem at such a young age really worries me.
[Not one of my posts. Maybe one of Jeff's?
-- Moderator (SDC) ]
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