Message Number: FHL12730 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2011-01-08 19:02:03 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Havn't Been On for a while...

Hi, Cara, and everyone else,

Both adrenal and insulinoma are treatable by surgery. My Zephyr (7=BD
years old) is having insulinoma surgery later this month. She is the
third ferret at least this age who has had adrenal, insulinoma or both
surgeries. So far all have recovered and lived up to another two
years. Yes, there are definite risks to surgery on an older ferret
and I always think long and hard about surgery on a ferret over seven.

OTOH, you are talking about how Monster is going to die and asking
about final stages. Given a choice between death and a chance at a
good quality of life, well... to me the choice is obvious. You don't
know Monster's age for sure. At age five you could be dealing with a
ferret who could easily live for another three or four years. Isn't
that worth taking a chance? In my experience older ferrets who
successfully get through insulinoma surgery are rejuvenated, at least
in terms of the way they act. The behave like younger, playful
ferrets again.

I would certainly discuss surgery with your vet. If you opt for
surgery make sure your vet uses sevoflurane rather isoflurane for
anesthesia. It's more expensive but it significantly reduces risks
for older ferrets.

For me surgery on an older ferret comes down to weighing the risks and
the benefits. Prednisolone jut isn't bringing Zephyr's blood glucose
back to anywhere near a normal range. She still has symptoms. Our
vet says her heart is strong, her bloodwork (full chem panel) was
normal other than the glucose level, and she has a good chance to pull
through. Without surgery her quality of life is compromised. It's
worth the risk. In other cases where I made this choice our original
vet put it more starkly: do the surgery and the ferret may live.
Don't and the ferret dies. When that is the choice then I do what I
can to save my ferret.

Good luck to you and Monster.

All the best,
Caity and the dynamic duo
Zephyr and Chin Soon


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