Message Number: FHL12875 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2011-02-15 18:23:07 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Re: 7 yr Old Ferret with Insulinoma - Not eating

Hi, Tressie and everyone else,
> The one, very important thing I would add is the level of skill and
> experience of the veterinary surgeon.
> I personally would hesitate to take a 'senior' ferret into surgery unless
> the veterinary surgeon was outstanding and had years of experience in doing
> surgical procedures on ferrets.

Absolutely! Thanks for adding that very important point. My ferrets
have gone to the vet in question for years, first as our backup vet
and then once the original vet retired as the primary. She is now
three hours away (she used to be local) but my ferrets still go to see
her because I trust her ability to handle difficult situations
including any and all needed surgeries. Her reputation and her long
track record of success not just with my ferrets but with the ferret
community at large are a very large part of what made my decision for
Zephyr possible.

My one tiny quibble with your post is probably just semantics. You
defined Zephyr's surgery as "elective." I am always very hesitant
about surgeries in ferrets age seven and older and generally wouldn't
do something I consider elective. A highly trusted vet told me
medical options would likely not work and if I didn't do the surgery
I'd be looking at euthanasia very soon. Considering how quickly
Zephyr was going downhill and how much her quality of life had
deteriorated I don't think I had much choice. I could have tried
medical options (i.e.: diazoxide) a bit longer but the longer we
waited the weaker Zephyr likely would have been, making the surgery
riskier still. It wasn't life or death at that moment so the timing
was elective, yes, but I don't think the surgery really was.

Anyway, you are absolutely right that the experience level of the vet
and the level of trust in general is always a big part of what is
always a difficult decision. Thanks again for raising that issue.

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


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