First I want to thank all of the anipals that donated to our listed charity Heart of Ohio Ferret Rescue and Association. Not only did we meet the goal we surpassed it.
James had his first visit to the vets on Tuesday July 27 2010 it was an emergency visit. He didn’t want to wake up for his morning meal or move around too much. All I could think was it was going to be a repeat of Lance. James was having a few of the same issues that Lance had but to a very lesser degree.
Waiting for the vet to call back with a time I could take James in to be seen I managed to get him to eat a few bites of Gerber® chicken baby food that I keep on hand for such emergencies. He seemed to perk up a little bit but not much and all he wanted to do was sleep. When I added a drop of ferret lax to the chicken James really went to town licking it all up and wanting some more. He also perked up a little bit.
Finally the vet called back and off we went to Franklin Animal Clinic where we were put in a room and waited for the doc to come see us.
James at this point had more spunk and wanted to run around I let him scamper the length of the bench in the room. Dr. Doverspike came in and did a quick examination where he noted that James also has an enlarged spleen something that is common in older ferrets.
While Dr. Doverspike was talking to me about what the problem might be James energy level dropped and James became the way I had found him in the morning. Dr. Doverspike had James’ glucose level checked. This is done by drawing some blood and putting some into a glucose meter to measure the level of the blood sugar.
In ferrets it should read between 80-120 mg/dl. James’ result was 27. This means he was in crisis and I was very glad he was at the vet so they could help him. It also meant that he had a cancer called Insulinoma.
Many people confuse Insulinoma with diabetes. Diabetes is also a blood sugar problem but Insulinoma is caused by a tumor on the pancreases causing it to produce too much insulin. Insulin’s job is to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood normally but too much decreases it to fatal levels.
If James had been younger there would have been the option of surgery to remove the tumor but Dr. Doverspike and I agreed that it wasn’t worth the risk to James’ life that left us with only one other option. Maintenance of the insulinoma with prescription drugs, for the moment James is now on 1ml of Prednisone to interfere with the tumor and thanks to Greenies(r) I haven’t worn the medicine.
In only a couple of days I noticed a remarked improvement in James activity level. He is back to eating more that a few bites. This disease is common in ferrets and it does add more work to caring for them but I don’t care it’s worth it to me.
What it does mean though is that James maybe only able to travel by vehicle and not by air. We have to see how well he tolerates the meds and how much it stresses his little body. It also means I have to update their travel case so that it has some emergency supplies for James. Like a couple packs of honey or some other high sugar liquid I also have to update his travel paper so that it notes in large red letters that he does have insulinoma.
I must mention that James more than likely had insulinoma before he started eating Young Again Ferret food and Dr. Doverspike said the food may have keep him out of crisis for a bit longer.
The three of us, James, Manny, and myself, are gong to be at Bark World Expo in Atlanta, Ga. August 19-22 but it maybe only Manny and myself at Blog Paws West, paws crossed, in September.
Keep on Chittering,