Common diseases of ferrets (Proceedings)

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Common diseases of ferrets (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2010
123456Next 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 123456Next