Message Number: FHL13961 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Andrew Yong
Date: 2011-09-07 02:21:34 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Re: Ferret diagnosis

Katrina & Jeff

Thanks for your replies.

I will contact the vet today and ask about the possibility of fluid retention and/or heart disease. Some of the symptoms of ascites seem to match, except that Hugo has a healthy appetite and is eating by himself. The vet did check for heart disease, but didn't seem to think it was a problem with Hugo. I will also ask whether a further course of antibiotics would help.

Just to recap:

1. Hugo was initially taken to the first vet for hind-leg weakness, lethargy and weight loss. The first vet did a fasting glucose test and diagnosed insulinoma, and put Hugo on Pred. The Pred seemed initially to help with the lethargy, but then we had continued problems with the weight loss, which exacerbated the hind-leg strength issue. We tried extra feeding with Hills AD.

2. The second, zoo vet (who is helping us in his spare time) was sceptical about the insulinoma diagnosis, and did a blood test while he was on the Pred which came back high-to-normal. He also put Hugo on a course of amoxicillin and metronizadole. At the initial consult, he was still only 0.85 kg and thin with no abdominal bloating, and was dragging his hind legs. The vet palpated an enlarged spleen. But because of his weight loss, to be safe we continued the extra feeding and the Pred. Even then he wouldn't eat by himself continued to lose weight until we started spoon-feeding him ground kibble together with goat's milk and Hills AD three times a day. That finally got his weight up, which I saw as the main priority.

3. The next time we saw the zoo vet, 4 weeks later, Hugo was up to 1.1 kg and had a very large belly. The vet did more x-rays but he didn't see anything apart from the enlarged spleen. Pred had been discontinued for a few days, and the blood glucose was still normal, so we ditched the Pred (and the insulinoma diagnosis) for good. He didn't seem to think there were any signs of pancreatitis, adrenal disease or lymphoma either. So he told me there wasn't much more he could do.

4. Now Hugo's belly is somewhat smaller, but still large, so I have ditched the Hills AD. But the mobility issues are still there, and the new symptom is the occasional squeaking when he is picked up and pre-tensing of the legs when he is put down . With the weight gain, he is no longer dragging his hind legs, but lifting his belly when he walks, which is an improvement. It's just that he plods along slowly and takes frequent rests. He also can't get his hind legs over obstacles, perhaps because of the belly, and doesn't have the strength to pick up and hide his squeaky toys as he used to. There is an underlying long-term health issue which we just can't identify, because the lethargy/lack of playfulness has been increasing over the years.


Andrew Yong
+6016 810 4522


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