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 Ferret Having Seizures
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Maui

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Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 2:48 PM
I'm new here but I could really use some advice.
Our six year old ferret Kimmi has been suffering seizures since last night. This is the first time she's had them and they last a very long time, with drooling/head bobbing/twisting/foot twitching/lip curls.

We took her to our vet this morning and he checked her blood sugar, but it was entirely normal. He heavily doubts that she has insulinoma, but is at a loss.
He offered to do 800 dollars worth of tests to try to find the cause, but warned me that it would only get more expensive from there and her prognosis was poor. He suggested that we could put her down, but I couldn't bring myself to do it when she hasn't even been diagnosed and she's only been experiencing seizures for one day.

She hasn't come in contact with anything poisonous, she's eating Marshall Farms ferret food and has a teaspoon of Ferrevite daily. She's been eating Duk soup and turkey baby food because she had a cold for three days.
She has some hair loss and has been lethargic for a couple months, which we suspect could be the onset of adrenal, but we can't treat that until we discover the cause of the seizures.
The only thing I can even imagine that could have happened is her being stepped on while playing with our 6 lb dog, but if that was the case I didn't see it.

I don't know what to do. There's no way I can afford 800+ dollars worth of testing right now and if this is a sign of her final days, the last place I want her to spend them is at the vet in a kennel.
He suggested that we just try to push fluids and feed her baby food and Science Diet canned food, but we can't feed her until the seizures stop.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:15 PM
Hello and Welcome to the forum! So sorry it is under these circumstances. You said the BG was normal. What was it? Did the vet give her anything to try and stop the seizures?  Does your vet know a lot about ferrets?
With the hairloss and being lethargic it does sound like she could be adrenal. Also a lot of ferrets have both adrenal and insulinoma. I have one right now. Had she been having any hindend weakness? Have you tried giving her white karo syrup rubbed on her gums or honey to bring her around?  Is she having the seizures right now? It sounds like insulinoma.



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:28 PM
I believe he said it was 58. He didn't prescribe anything there, but said in 24 hours he might. They're a fairly well known ferret vet around here.
She does have hind end weakness and we've been using honey on her gums, but it seems to have little to no effect. 
She is seizing now. It's gotten very mild with just twitching and staring into space, but she's done that several times and then begins kicking. She's also started to vocalize when the worst ones hit her.
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:42 PM
58 is awfully low. It definitely sounds like insulinoma. She needs to be started on prednisolone ASAP. I give it to Carson in the morning and at night so its in his system all the time. He gets it in liquid form. It may take more honey than you are rubbing on her gums to bring her out of it. Then follow with baby food. Beechnut chicken or turkey is best. It has no carbs (sugars) in it. 



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:49 PM
It IS low? He acted like he was positive that it was normal. There are so few knowledgeable ferret vets around here.
I'll give her twice as much as I was and see if that helps. Does your vet prescribe Carson's prednisolone?
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:50 PM
Yes it is low. How much honey would you say you are using? Yes she prescribes the prednisolone. Its easier on them than regular prednisone.



 
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bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:55 PM
What area do you live in? Maybe someone on here would know of a good vet.



 
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HeezDeadJim

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 3:58 PM
I just dealt with one of my kids having insulinoma. 58 is very low. Normal is above 90. My boy Starscream was at 42, and it took months to get him to a stable state (I think 93 was his last reading), so like the Bandit99 is saying, get her on Pred! And also ask the doctor for a script for Sucralfate (calafate) since the Pred will be rough on the stomach. She won't want to eat if she has an upset stomach. So make sure to give that sucralfate 30-45mins before you feed her the wet food mixed with the Pred...
 
Good luck!
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:00 PM
You definitely need to get her BG up. Is it to late for you to get the prednisolone today? Dosage is determined by the ferrets weight.



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:02 PM
I was using just enough to coat a qtip. She's a tiny thing, only about 1lb. I did it twice and she actually seems to be improving a little.
She's still twitching but she hasn't screamed and the lip curling has stopped.
There aren't many ferret parents around here so there aren't many knowledgeable vets, either. I'm not sure what he was intending to prescribe if she didn't show improvement in 24 hours.
Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:04 PM
I may be able to get ahold of him and ask him to give her a prescription. I'll try calling him now. Thank you guys, I'll keep you posted
Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:07 PM
I live in Georgia. My zip is 30028.
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:08 PM
I noticed you said he recommended putting her down. Although you can't cure insulinoma it is treatable. But she needs meds ASAP like I mentioned. I would seriously try to find another vet. I know a lot of times it isn't easy. Mine is an hour away from me. She is an amazing vet though and worth the drive.

It may be she didn't get enough of the honey at first. Do you think you could get the pred today? Do you have any baby food on hand? I keep some just in case of an emergency. I also make homemade soupies.
<message edited by bandit99 on Monday, March 26, 2012 4:21 PM>



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:12 PM
He seemed like such a good vet but now I'm thinking he was just trying to pressure me into paying for tests she didn't need. He only recommended putting her down after I explained that we simply couldn't afford all the tests.
We have both turkey and chicken baby food on hand for emergencies. 
If anyone knows a vet in my area that could help I'd really appreciate it.
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:17 PM
Here are some vets within a 30 miles radius of you.
1) Distance in miles: 11 Dr. Vanessa Lee & Dr. JoAnne Roesner Loving Hands Animal Clinic 12940 Hwy 9 (future address: 13775 Hwy 9) Alpharetta, GA 30004 770-667-9022 http://www.lovinghands.com/  2) Distance in miles: 13 Dr. Cawley Animal Hospital Of Nesbitt Ferry Crossing 9850 Nesbitt Ferry Road Suite 2 Alpharetta, GA 30022 770-642-8522  3) Distance in miles: 15 Drs. Anderson, Eisele, Gardin & Nizialek Animal Center of Gwinnett 1956 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. Lawrenceville, GA 30043 770-277-3220 aecog1@aecg.ntcmail.net  4) Distance in miles: 20 Dr. Donald Delong & Dr. Jennifer Sandy Avalon Animal Hospital 2585 Cruise Road Lawrenceville, GA 30044 770-822-5551
5) Distance in miles: 23 Dr. Susan Leck Mountain Park Animal Hospital  5324 Five Forks Trickum Road Lilburn, Georgia 30047 770-921-2965 http://www.mpah.net/ 6) Distance in miles: 25 Dr. Sherry Weaver Animal Hospital of Towne Lake 2990 Eagle Drive  Woodstock, GA 30189 770-591-9500  7) Distance in miles: 27 Dr. Ron Gladstone Cobb Central Animal Hospital 236 Powers Ferry Road Marietta, GA 30067  770-971-0100 http://www.cobbcentral.com/  8) Distance in miles: 27 no names given in listing Loving Touch Animal Center 1975 Glenn Club Dr. Stone Mountain, GA 30087 770-489-5956 http://www.lovingtouchac.com/ 
9) Distance in miles: 28 Drs. Rivera, McClearen, Oertly, Temple, & Webb Bells Ferry Animal Hospital 6410 Highway 92 Acworth, GA 30102 770 926-5311 http://www.bfvh.com/  10) Distance in miles: 29 Dr. Linda Bostick Riverview Veterinary Hospital 3288 Cobb Pkwy Atlanta, GA 30339 770-956-8004  11) Distance in miles: 29 Dr. Linda Bostick Riverview Veterinary Hospital 3288 Cobb Parkway Atlanta, GA 30339 770-956-8004


I hope one of these is close enough to help.
<message edited by bandit99 on Monday, March 26, 2012 4:21 PM>



 
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bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:22 PM
The only test I know of you need for insulinoma is the BG test. It worries me that he thought 58 was normal. Like HeezDeadJim mentioned, she'll need something for her stomach. I give mine PepcidAC 10mg pills crushed and mixed with water. I can let you know how I mix it and the dosage if you decide to do the pepcid.
<message edited by bandit99 on Monday, March 26, 2012 4:27 PM>



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:24 PM
Thank you, that's going to help. Loving Hands was actually the vet we were using for her, because they advertised being ferret savvy. 
I'm waiting for him to call me back and she's doing much better since the honey. I'm trying very hard not to sound angry over the phone but knowing that she's been seizing and miserable all morning without needing to because he doesn't know the proper BG for a ferret makes my blood boil.
bandit99

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:34 PM
I'm glad she's doing better. Remember to get some baby food in her. I'm going to pm you my email address so you can contact me if I'm not on my computer. I get emails on my phone but can't post on the forum from it. I hope you can find a good vet from that list.



 
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Maui

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:44 PM
Thank you so much Bandit<3 I'll definitely be in contact. I'm so glad I found this forum.
unclejoe

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Re:Ferret Having Seizures - Monday, March 26, 2012 4:50 PM
2 words:  New Vet.  The 3 vets in this county that know ANYTHING about ferrets agree that below 60 is diagnostic of insulinoma, and one says 70.  IDK what other tests would even be necessary, or what else could cause such a drop.  Get the pred started asap and dose it faithfully, either 2x or 3x a day, whatever is called for.  Many ferrets don't survive a second seizure, and I know a couple who didn't make it out of the first

Good luck.



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