Common diseases of ferrets (Proceedings)

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Common diseases of ferrets (Proceedings)

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Nov 01, 2010
123Next • Insulinoma      - Very common in ferrets      - Tumor of the beta cells in the pancreas that secrete excessive levels of insulin      - Results in hypoglycemic episodes          • Weakness          • Lethargy          • Salivation          • Pawing at mouth          • Seizures          • Difficult to awaken from naps*      - Generally malignant with metastasis to the liver, spleen, and other tissues      - Presumptive diagnosis based on blood glucose level (<70mg/dl) More than 1 test: non-fasted and then 4-6 hours fasted      - Insulin levels can help to distinguish insulinoma from other causes of hypoglycemia      - Definitive diagnosis based on histopathology of biopsy samples taken at exploratory laporatomy      - Treatment           ♦ Surgical                • Debulk extensive tumor                • "shell-out" suspicious nodules                • Pancreatic lobectomy                • Post-op pancreatitis is rare           ♦ Medical                • Dietary management                     o High protein                     o High fat                     o Frequent feedings                     o High sugar material on hand and to only be used in a hypoglycemic crisis           • Chromium Picolinate may help in regulating glucose levels                     o Found in Brewer's yeast                     o 1/8 – 1/4 tsp per ferret 1-2 times per day           • Prednisolone                     o Promotes gluconeogenesis by inhibiting glucose uptake by tissues           o Raspberry flavored           o Dose ranges: 0.1mg/kg – 4 mg/kg SID to BID                     o Start low then raise as needed to maintain adequate glucose levels           • Diazoxide                     o Inhibits insulin release and reduces cellular uptake of glucose                     o Used alone or in conjunction with Prednisolone                     o Dose : 5-10 mg/kg BID While insulinomas are rarely cured, most affected ferrets can be reasonably controlled and will often live months to years following diagnosis 123Next