Message Number: SG8303 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 22:50:29 EST
Subject: Re: coughing ferret/heart problem
I was surprised to hear your vets treatment plan.
If the congestion in the lungs is from the enlarged
heart, then a diuretic (such as lasix) is needed right
away! No logical reason to wait 3 days. An antibiotic
is a good thing to prevent pneumonia from developing,
but a steroid like pred may actually make things worse.
Steroids cause sodium and fluid retention that can make
the congestive heart failure worse. It makes sense to
"clear the lungs" with lasix then start on heart medications
like enacard and/or digoxin. I would recommend lasix at 1-4 mg
per kg IM or IV every 8-12 hours to "clear the lungs" then
1-4 mg/kg orally twice a day. If there is a vet cardiologist in
your area, then a heart ultrasound would help to determine
the type of heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy or hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy) and the best treatment for long term control.
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM
Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2004 22:13:07 -0500
To: "brenda" <email@example.com>,
"Mary McCarty - Houser" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
From: "deena haner" <email@example.com>
Subject: surgery dilemma
Kiwi had a left adrenalectomy in April 2003. She's now 5 years old and I think she's
showing signs again, fur getting sparse, slightly swollen vulva. My dilemma is that
I'm not totally convinced that surgery will prolong her life.
My reasons for feeling this way are that I lost 2 ferrets last year who had both had
adrenal surgeries. Odin was four years old when he had his surgery Feb 03. Dr [Vet
name and hospital removed from post] removed his left and also a partial right.
Odin seemed to recover quickly and completely until he died suddenly June 28,
2003. Post-mortem showed that he was full of cancer. He only lived 4 months after
Nestle was also 4 years old when she had her left adrenal removed in August 2002.
When she started showing signs of illness in October 2003, a spleen biopsy showed
lymphoma, she died a few months later. She lived only 15 months after her surgery.
So, while I haven't completely decided against a second surgery for Kiwi, I'm looking
for input from anyone who wants to give it. I realize that at 5, she most likely only
has a year or two left to her lifespan, and if surgery won't extend that time at all,
why put her through the pain of another surgery? What are my non-surgical
options? I would like to hear from owners who have used melatonin and/or lupron. I
will also be searching the archives of the ferret health list.
I do have access to a WONDERFUL ferret vet (6 hrs roundtrip) and money is not a
deciding factor here. I'm trying to do what's best for Kiwi's quality of life . If I am
convinced that surgery may prolong her life or at least make her life better in the
long run, she will get surgery. At this point, due to my experiences with Odin and
Nestle, I'm just not convinced that it will.
Thanks for taking the time to read this long post, I look forward to receiving your
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