Message Number: FHL14495 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2012-01-03 01:05:29 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Insulinoma, diazoxide and hind limb weakness

Hi, Regina and everyone else.
> I have a 6+ year old ferret, Sissy, with pretty acute insulinoma. She is
> one of those ferrets with abysmally low blood glucose, often in the 40s,
> but is still alert and reasonably active. She is currently maxxed out on
> prednisone, 0.1ml of 10mg/ml suspension.

Is there a reason why insulinoma surgery has not been considered?
That is what has worked for my ferrets when medical treatments are no
longer effective. My Zephyr had successful insulinoma surgery a year
ago at right around eight years old. She's still here. I had another
ferret, Podo, who also had successful insulinoma surgery at around age
eight and lived for another two years. The adrenal issue could be
addressed as part of the same surgery. My Chin Soon had that surgery
in April, 2009 and has had no symptoms of either disease since. Chin
Soon was five and a half at the time and is a high energy ferret
today. She'll be eight and a half later this week.

If you go the surgical route your vet can look at the lymph nodes and
do a biopsy if any are enlarged. Sadly, that's how Lady Ayeka was
diagnosed with lymphoma: during what was otherwise successful
adrenal/insulinoma surgery (both at once). She was also five and a
half at the time.

Obviously there are risks with surgery in an older ferret. Some can
be mitigated by your vet, for example, using sevoflurane as the
anesthetic rather than the less expensive isoflurane. Also, since you
are dealing with likely advanced insulinoma the normally small chance
of a curative surgery is probably zero in Sissy's case. That doesn't
mean she can't benefit from the surgery.

The usual disclaimer applies: I am not a vet. I don't even play one
on TV. I'm just sharing what has worked for my ferrets in the past.
All the best to you and Sissy whatever you decide.

Caity and the dynamic duo
Zephyr and Chin Soon


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