Message Number: FHL12793 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Ella R
Date: 2011-01-27 06:20:10 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] 7 1/2 year old male with multiple, serious issues

Hi everyone,

I'm not quite sure to begin since my little guy (Boo Boo) has so much going
on. I'm at a crossroads, so to speak, and may have to make a very tough
decision... and soon. This is the first time since getting my first ferret
(one who is about 3 mos older than Boo Boo). However, in that time I've not
had to make the decision to let one of my mine go, so I need some help,
advice, direction... please.

I guess I will start with just listing what's going on with him.

Enlarged spleen
Signs and some symptoms of adrenal disease now (symmetrical hair loss
Cardiomyopanthy (sp?)
Odd rash on side that two ferret vets can't seem to figure out what it is.
Black spot on foot pad. Does not go away, is not a scab, etc. Vet's
'guess' that it's most likely cancer.
Symptoms of insulinoma.. and he is on pred for this and has been for a
Incontinence. He can't seem to control peeing mostly now, and he poops when
he doesn't seem to realize it's happening (in bedding, while eating, etc)
Lump near penis (prepuce?) that the vets say is some sort of tumor. It's
large enough now to see with your eyes, and can be felt easily too.
Strains and makes little noises when he pees or poops.
Heart rate was so fast the vet couldn't get an accurate count.
Sudden blindness a couple of months or so ago (insulinoma complication
Hind leg weakness (insulinoma complication suspected).
He now has diarrhea, but he is currently on Amoxy for ulcer treatment.
In the past 2 days he's had to 'episodes' where he would breathe fast and
heavy (like panting).
He also seems to crash more often now (blood sugar wise). Vet upped his
pred dosage and I've been coaxing him to eat more and giving nutri cal to
help as well.

One big issue is this: he has areas on his abdomen that looked like red
bruising, like blood just beneath the skin. It changes and comes and goes.
He is handled gently and carefully, and even more so now due to this odd
'bruising.' When they scruffed him at the vet's office it left marks on him
that look like bruises (deep red in color). Prepuce area was VERY dark red,
but today it is a little better. Again, this bruising seems to change from
day to day. He can't walk right and mostly pulls himself around now. Vet
also said that the little red 'pin-point' sized dots on his body were the
same thing as the bruises. CONCLUSION: Vet says it appears he has a
platelet issue, a clotting issue and he has to be handled very carefully

They did x-ray and glucose. He was NOT fasted for the glucose testing and
had just eaten about 10 minutes before. Glucose was 72.
When attempting to get a blood sample for glucose testing they found it
difficult because of the edema that was beginning. They pulled mostly fluid
on the first try because they couldn't find the vein.

What I was told about x-rays....

What appeared to be multiple masses everywhere.
Appears to be fluid around his heart.
Appears to be either masses or fluid of some kind in the lungs.
Something in his stomach, we were guessing the food he just ate. But the
vet said it was odd looking for food but couldn't determine if it was
actually food or a mass.
Kidney on one side is oddly shaped.

He's too heavy to walk, and weak. He hasn't been sleeping in the cage for
about a month now because he couldn't navigate the ramps, etc., but he can
barely navigate his little area in my room. His food and water is close by,
but I've noticed his appetite is waning despite the nutri cal to help perk
up his appetite, etc.

The edema is a little worse since he was seen 2 days ago. It's mostly
noticeable in his rear legs and feet, though he seems to be 'fluffing' up a
bit all over. "bruising" is still present and looks a little different
(more or less there) with each day.

I'm out of work and can't find employment, so I'm home with him nearly all
the time now. I help him through the night and usually do laundry to keep
his bedding and sleep sacks clean. My poor little guy has a lot of
accidents. I clean him gently and make sure nothing stays on him. I make
sure he's warm and comfortable and check on him constantly (without
disturbing his sleep).

Vet says he's on borrowed time, that it won't be long now. But my question
is this.. how do I know when "I" should make the decision to let him go?
I've no experience with this, though I have lost one fuzzy to organ failure
(lymphoma was suspected) and one to complications after surgery. But I've
never had to make that decision and not sure how I know I'm doing the right

Tumor removal, I was told, wouldn't be a great option for him because of his
age and his weak state. I'm told he most likely wouldn't make it through
surgery, and I was urged to consider the pain and such of recovery after

I am very limited on funds but am doing everything I can to help him. I
just don't know what to do next. Ultrasound is one option to get a better
look at things, and our vet is trying to get me a reduced fee for that
because he knows I've been out of work for a little over a year now and have
nearly run out of savings now. he's also seem my furkids for 7 years and
knows the lengths I go to make sure they have the best care, etc.

But what I need to know now is what is best for Boo Boo. I may be being
silly holding out on that iota of hope, but the heart issue is a big one
that they can't fix. His edema is worsening, but not terribly rapidly. The
vet said if it continues it will become very uncomfortable for him.

I REALLY need some advice here. Anything. Please. I want to do what's
right for Boo Boo.

Thanks in advance.


Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her,
still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings. - Victor Hugo

"It's how we treat the humblest among us that surely determines the fate of
our soul." -D. Koontz

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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