Message Number: FHL12869 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2011-02-14 14:13:13 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] 7 yr Old Ferret with Insulinoma - Not eating

Hi, Jenn, and everyone else,

The picky eating or not eating may well be due to nausea caused by the
insulinoma. It could also be due to digestive issues (i.e.: ulcers)
caused by long term prednisolone usage. Some ferrets tolerate long
term pred usage well while others do not.

One thing you could consider is the option of surgery. My 7=BD year old
Zephyr was not doing well on prednisolone as in her blood glucose
remained too low and was losing weight as well. She was and is
otherwise strong and healthy and we decided the risk was worth it if
she was going to have any quality of life or even survive very much

Our vet found two very large nodules on Zephyr's pancreas and removed
them. Since then she has recovered beautifully and is acting like a
younger version of herself: playful and affectionate. He stamina is
way up as well. This parallels what we've seen with other older
ferrets when we felt we had no choice but to opt for surgery.

I am NOT advocating surgery for your ferret, only discussing the
option with your vet. We made the decision only after it became clear
that treating medically was unlikely to work and after Zephyr had a
full checkup, including full blood work, to insure that there were no
other medical problems. Our vet said "age is not a disease" and
deemed Zephyr was likely to come through the surgery well. She also
used sevoflurane rather than isoflurane for the anesthesia which is
more expensive but reduced the risks to Zephyr.

In Zephyr's case we clearly made the right decision considering how
much better he quality of life is now. I'm not a vet and a different
decision may be better for your ferret. Surgery is always risky on a
senior ferret.

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


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