Message Number: FHL12775 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2011-01-22 16:54:53 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Diabetes
To: <>

One of my rescues, Oliver, has just become my third case of life-threatening
diabetes. My understanding is this is relatively unusual. Is this really
the case?

Oliver had insulinoma surgery over three months ago. Initial BG readings
were in the normal range and after first month check up we thought we could
go six months for the next checkup. After noting excessive drinking and
urination along with lethargy, I took him in yesterday to be checked. His
BG was well over 500. At this point his elevated BG has not yet responded
to insulin treatment.

The first, Bandit, was treated for several months for insulinoma with pred
when we found his BG was 30. When his symptoms returned at a time when the
veterinary office was closed, they suggested that I increase the pred dose.
I took him in after the weekend ended, and we found that his BG had gone
very high. (At this point, I no longer remember the exact reading.) He was
treated for a week at the veterinary clinic, but ultimately succumbed to the
organs which were already damaged by the elevated BG which apparently had
been going on for a longer time than we had realized.

The second was an older girl, Baby. I found Baby in an insulinoma coma one
afternoon. She recovered with treatment of dexamethizone switching to pred,
When nasty diarrhea continued we added amoxi and metronidizole. Her
recovery was slow and punctuated with nasty seizures. She was hospitalized
after a particularly bad seizure and we found that her BG was extremely
high. Two weeks later I brought her home on a small daily dose of injected
insulin. We maintained her this way for about a month and a half before she
seized again. The residual neurological effects seen after some previous
seizures were back and were worse than previously. At this point her
quality of life was very poor, and we decided to euthanize her.

Since my previous two cases of diabetes resulted in death, I am upset for
Oliver, and wondering what his chances are of his condition being managed
successfully. He is extremely sweet, and has not had any indication of


[Post-surgical temporary diabetes does happen
sometimes, so does diabetes when the insulinoma
has been going on for a good while. Sometimes it
happens all on its own and that is more rare in ferrets.

Diabetes is much less common in ferrets than insulinoma
which is pretty much the opposite problem in terms of
blood glucose levels. The meds for insulinoma raise blood
glucose but the problem with diabetes is that the blood
glucose is already too high.

If you go to
you can look for past posts from vets and others on ways
to deal with diabetes, from insulin options to adding
chromium to the diet with things like Brewers Yeast and

In the message body box put
and in the from box try this combination BUT KNOW THAT
AFERRETVET or ferrethealer or Williams or drkaren or suedvm

You can add on addresses of others, obviously, and the searches
below will help you refine your list. I have to add some other
people to my usual vet and expert search line but have sorely lacked
even the time to search out their addresses.
I also suggest searches using just the message body box
for the phrase
diabetes and insulin
and for the phrase
chromium and insulin

Diabetes can be very difficult to manage in ferrets, especially
in bad cases.

-- Moderator]


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