Prev Thread Prev Thread   Next Thread Next Thread
 UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss
Author Message
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 12:22 PM
My 6yr old ferret Stinker has had insulinoma for just over a year now and has been on pred tablets for that legth of time and just within the last couple months she is losing hair bad...in odd random spots. all around her neck is pretty much bald now, her tummy is bald, and her tail is getting there. Her skin is so wrinkly :( i know she doesnt eat her own food anymore so i feed her duck soup 3 times a day (and with her meds) her tummy seems bloated...but im not sure if it really is. when i feel around her tummy its not soft and squishy like the other ferrets...its a lil bit harder and seems big for her. im so worried, shes all i think about. She never plays anymore...just eats and walks around a bit and sleeps. She poops really good tho!
So what im asking is, is this normal for a ferret with insulinoma? i know losing hair is a sign of adrenal but her vulva is not swollen. any suggestions?? thank you
<message edited by Stinker1 on Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:05 PM>
Attached Image(s)
bandit99

  • Total Posts : 4260
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/7/2009
  • Location: Il
  • Status: offline
Re:Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 12:37 PM
Hello and Welcome to the forum! Sometimes adrenal doesn't involve a swollen vulva and the hair loss pattern seems to vary too. A lot of times adrenal and insulinoma go hand in had. It's good you are feeding her soupies. I would take your little one to the vet. She more than likely is adrenal and needs to be started on either lupron, or the deslorin implant. For my adrenal baby I give him a 3mg tab of melatonin crushed in his soupy around noonish and he gets a lupron shot once a month. I get the melatonin at Walmart. About $8 for 120 tablets. I started him on it as soon as I thought he was adrenal and then made an appointment for the lupron. He also has insulinoma for which he gets prednisolone 2 x's a day and I give him Pepcid AC before the pred to keep him from getting ulcers. Besides the adrenal possibility she could also be needing her pred dosage upped. Also is she getting plenty of fluids? You don't want her to get dehydrated. Please keep us updated and let us know what the vet says. We will keep Stinker in our thoughts and prayers.



 
Fuzzbutts Rule!

joclyn

  • Total Posts : 1583
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/30/2010
  • Status: offline
Re:Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 6:05 PM
adrenal can be present with absolutely NO outward signs of it!!!  the fact that she's losing fur - complete loss, not just guard fur shedding at change of season - indicates adrenal disease as the most probable cause. 
 
since she's already got insulinoma, there could be an issue with mal-absorbtion of nutrients (aka ibd) and that could also be the cause of the fur loss.
 
bloating, well, long term use of prednisone or prednisolone can cause that - i think prednisone is more likely to cause it rather than prednisolone (i've not seen that with the 'solone and i've had ferrets on that for 3 years time).  i could be wrong on that and the bloating reaction could be an individual thing that happens to some ferrets and not others (and regardless of how long/short a time they've been taking the med).
 
sounds like your girl needs a vet visit and a bg check (the description of her activity level and lack thereof tell me her bg is too low).  and i'd get the lupron started and do that for a couple/three months....if all the fur grows back and her activity level increases dramatically (adrenal can make them lethargic just like insu can), then you know for sure adrenal disease is present.  if no changes, then further investigation would be needed to find out why she's losing fur. 
Stivs Ferret Buizzness

  • Total Posts : 852
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/17/2011
  • Location: IL
  • Status: offline
Re:Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:04 PM
Like they said, adrenal could be present!!!!!! a swollen spleen is a common sign, which makes the tummy bloated and turn a purple color( i said this to someone else a few minutes ago to!) and agian, a swollen vulva is only there with adrenal because the hormones are out of whack. meaning that it is not always there, it depends on the hormone level! and Pred can cause bloating a little bit, but just make sure it is not a dark purple color under the belly skin!


I FOUND THIS ONLINE IT IS NOT MY PICTURE
But this is what it looks like, if you look close, the  belly is a purple color. if it ever gets to THAT big then should be taken to the vet IMMEDIATLY. Good luck!

here is where i got the pic from
<a href="http://www.azeah.com/Care-Sheets.asp?id=126">http://www.azeah.com/Care-Sheets.asp?id=126</a>

<message edited by Stivs Ferret Buizzness on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:05 PM>
Attached Image(s)
Put your paws in the air and wardance like you just don't care!!!  (i make signatures! pm me!)

Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:Insulinoma and major hair loss - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 12:32 PM
The nearest ferret vet is about 3 hours away (in Calgary)...its hard to take time off work and get up there....so it might be in a week or 2 :( by looking at that picture im sure its an enlarged spleen, because she had a darker spot on her tummy about the size of a penny. what would the vets do about an enlarged spleen? Would the Lupron shot help with that? I have a ferret already on Lupron....it costs me $48 per shot and they send it down to me from Calgary and then the vets here in my city inject her and charge me $20....so about $70 per shot with shipping. its rediculous.
but I'll make an appointment to go up to Calgary with her.....i feel like crying...im so scared...shes my first ferret.
So when i take her to the vet, how will they check to see if shes adranel or not? vets here will charge u for anything and so very expensive, its sad. so i wanna make sure they are checking the right thing...do they have to do bloodwork?
My other ferret thats adrenal didnt get anything done...i just told them her vulva is swollen and shes losing hair so they checked it and then just injected her with Lupron.
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:Insulinoma and major hair loss - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 12:35 PM
oh and I also have a mini one touch glucose meter i bought to use for her but never have....im scared it will hurt her lol. im going to buy test strips after work and try it tonight. do you guys test it on her tail or paw? and i also read to put vaseline on the spot im testing first?
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:05 PM
UPDATE: so i took Stinker to the vet on Monday and they did a blood test ($188) and showed up that it was perfect.....this is before she ate or had her predisone....this makes no sense. How could it be normal if she has insulinoma and never eats her kibble?? all she eats is the duck soup i feed 3 times a day. 
All she does is sleep. her eyes are red and sleepy looking all the time. she does nothing but eat when i feed her then go sleep. but anyways im cutting back on the predisone to 1/4 pill twice a day and see how shes acting...see if shes the same....
so with the hairloss the vet gave her a lupron shot and ill go back in a month for a re-check and possibly another lupron shot....
i just dont understand why she would be acting so sleepy, and shes seems skinny except for her tummy...im just so confused :(
plus her ears are so dirty...no matter how many times i clean them, the next day its dirty again (its not ear mites the vets checked for that) also the vet said it doesnt feel like an enlarged spleen
anyone have any ideas on what to do??


i uploaded a pic of my baby Stinker up top in my first message 
<message edited by Stinker1 on Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:06 PM>
Snapper13

  • Total Posts : 10181
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/27/2006
  • Location: Chicago
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Friday, October 14, 2011 7:59 AM
I hate to say it, but could it be cancer?  The stomach seems enlarged, and it could be tumors.
joclyn

  • Total Posts : 1583
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/30/2010
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Saturday, October 15, 2011 8:47 PM
omg!  i just lost my whole reply because i went back to look at the pic again :( 
 
sigh!
 
it was long too - hope i remember everything!
 
this was her first shot and you need to give it time to get into her system and have an effect on the disease!!  usually by the second week after it you start seeing changes/improvement.  sometimes it takes a month and sometimes it takes until after the second shot - hopefully stinker will be one that responds more quickly!!
 
i see pred belly; not enlarged spleen (there's no purple spot which is how the spleen appears when it's close to the skin).  so, that's one issue you don't seem to have to worry about at the moment! the fur loss definitely does say 'adrenal disease' though!
 
what blood work was done??  full work-up?  just bg?  tennessee panel?  really need to know that before i can comment about 'normal' results!!
 
if she's still very lethargic and definitely has insulinoma then she needs the dose of pred the vet prescribed and possibly a higher dose, even.  DO NOT REDUCE the medication!!!!  most especially DO NOT do so if the vet didn't tell you to!!!!
 
if she is not eating kibble at all and only eats the soup when you give it to her, that may be part of the problem with her lethargy.  how much soup do you give her at a feeding?????  if she' s not eating kibble at all, 3 soup feedings a day are probably not enough - i'd add in one more at a minimum.
 
what is the recipe you use for the soup??
 
since the local vets don't get the lupron depot, it would be more cost efficient for you to have the vet in calgary prepare 6 months of shots and then you take the trip twice a year to pick it up (and have them do checkups on the ferts at the same time).  you can easily keep the prepared shots in your freezer and just defrost two of them the day before your appt with the local vet.  yes, it would be more upfront - it would still be less expensive over the long run to do it that way!!
 
i agree with snap that cancer may be the issue - although, if the vet in calgary did a good exam on her, he'd have felt any tumors, and you don't say he did.  tumors in the pancreas may have been discounted though, since she does have insulinoma - and the tumors there may be carcinoma's rather than the 'regular' type of tumors that cause insulinoma, so, that is still a possible for the fur loss rather than adrenal disease :(
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Monday, October 17, 2011 8:05 PM
ok i make a batch of duck soup every 1-2 weeks or so.... 
3 jars of gerber chicken and gravy
1 cup crushed ferret kibble (mostly evo, zupreem, 8-in-1 Ultimate)
tea spoon olive oil
1 can wet cat food

so i give her 3 ice cubes of that a day....one in the morning, one at lunch, and one at night. but when i add another in there shes too full and only has a few licks... but maybe ill try it again by adding another in there. I did try wetting down some of the crushed kibble and make a mushy paste and she was interested in that! she licked it and ate a bit of it...but the duck soup tatses better and she could smell it when i was making it so she stopped eating the mushy food....but at least she showed interest!

the vets blood test was a bg check (normal) and checked her white and red blood count(one was a bit higher than the other but not much i cant remember if it was the red or white now) and checked her urine.

The vet said to reduse the meds because her dose may be too high because her blood sugar was right on (even before her pred and before she ate).... they are 5mg pills and i was giving her 2.5mg twice a day, so now i give her 2.5mg in the morning and 1/4 pill at night....this has been going on for a week now and she seems the same...maybe better. its hard to tell yet right now.
she seems so be pooping alot too. they are nice looking poops they arent grainy or anything so not sure whats goin on with that. 



 





joclyn

  • Total Posts : 1583
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/30/2010
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:46 AM
how big are the individual cubes?  by that i mean how much liquid does it take to fill up one cube in the tray?  just take a measuring tablespoon and use water to figure it out :)
 
if two cubes at a feeding are too much for her to take in, then do a 4th feeding right before you go to sleep :)
 
although, it may not be all that much of an issue if she's got good bg level.  i still wouldn't reduce the med dosage though!  the fact that she's at a good level means that the dosage she is on is working just as it should be!!  to reduce it will eventualy cause her to go into a crash - and it will take weeks for that to happen since the pred does build up in the system and it takes time for it to filter out.  so, if you do stay at the reduced dose, please be aware that she could start crashing in a couple/three weeks!!  having dealt with insu numerous times and for very long term with the one ferret, i just learned not to mess with reducing doses - ever!  i'm really surprised the vet recommended it!
 
i would definitely start using that meter.  too bad i couldn't tell you that before the appt as it's best to take your meter to the vet and do a test there when they do theirs so that you can compare the reading from your meter to theirs so you know how far off yours is - some meters read 5 or even 10 points above or below the meters the vets use, so, you really need to know how your particular meter compares to the type the vets use (which are specifically for use in animals, rather than humans like the ones we use).  maybe you could do this comparison test at the local vet?  i strongly suggest you check into that - knowing what her bg level is is vital since you've lowered the med dose...having the meter on hand to do a check once a week (or more if she's acting odd) will keep you abreast of the bg going down and you can adjust the meds back up to compensate before it gets out of control.  just going on visuals and basing things on behaviour can be deceptive with insulinoma - they compensate and cover it so well that it's very easy to miss the beginnings signs of a crash.
Snapper13

  • Total Posts : 10181
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/27/2006
  • Location: Chicago
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 8:18 AM

the fact that she's at a good level means that the dosage she is on is working just as it should be!



I agree - if the dose you are using results in a normal BG level, why reduce it?
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:58 PM
the ice cubes are 2 table spoons. she never finishes it if its a bit chunky so when she thinks shes "done" i add a bit of water to it and she drinks it up again. 
I asked the vet about using my own blood glucose meter and she didn't recommend it because she was worried about infection from going in the litter box.  so how exactly do i use the meter? like where can i poke her? 
I am going back to the vets in about 3 weeks for her other lupron shot and a re check. 
I don't know why her eyes are all red around them either....is it because of the adrenal do u think? she looks sad...


joclyn

  • Total Posts : 1583
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/30/2010
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:32 AM
2 tablespoons X 3x a day is bare minimum amount to eat.  if you can get another feeding in and get another cube into her, she will probably start to gain some weight (you mentioned she seems thin except for the belly) and now is a good time to ramp up the food since with the light changing, her body is primed for it as well (iow, it's time to stash some extra weight for winter). 
 
you can test on the paw pads - either the flat bottom or on the side - or you can use the tip of the tail.  any issues the vet is concerned with you can avoid by keeping some rubbing alcohol and cotton  balls handy and then you just moisten the ball with the alcohol and wipe the foot off after she uses the box.  after an hour or so the spot will have clotted up and you won't have to do that.  the vet seems overly cautious here - and quite silly, actually! 
 
you are not close by, so, it makes complete sense that you utilize the meter you have to keep an eye on her bg level!!!!  i'm only 30 minutes from one vet and 45 from the other - much more easy to run up there to get them to do the bg test and they've both said an emphatic YES! when i asked if i should get a meter to test periodically at home.  having the info really makes a difference - for you on a daily/weekly basis because you can up food if she's fading down and for the vet because you can provide the info that covers the course of multiple weeks and that gives THEM good solid info to work with when considering changes to the meds! 
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:13 AM
its hard to tell if she really is thin because she barely has any hair, (she has a mohawk right now lol)...the vet did weigh her and she was around the same weight, but im going to weigh her tonight on their scale i have. She has always weighed around 1lb 6 oz.
 
im going to try to feed her another cube per day...i dud that yesterday and she ate it all! its going to be hard because i do work, and if im busy i cant take time off to run home and feed her. sometimes ill put 2 cubes in and she almost eats 2, and other times she has a hard time eating all of 1...maybe ill feed 2 in the morning.
 
what is her bg level supposed to be when i take her blood? i live in Canada so our meters might be differently scaled. im pretty nervous using the meter...my plan is to poke her when shes eating lol
bandit99

  • Total Posts : 4260
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/7/2009
  • Location: Il
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:02 PM
I was reading the posts again and had a thought. You mention she won't eat her kibble but seems to like it in the soupy. Could her mouth be sore? I had a ferret on pred once for insulinoma who's mouth would get sore every once in a while. She would go off her kibble too and only eat the soupies. The vet gave me clavamox and after a week she was back to eating the kibble. Are her gums nice and pink or are they red? 



 
Fuzzbutts Rule!

Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Thursday, October 20, 2011 2:00 PM
ok well this is another weird part about the food thing....when i first noticed she wasn't eating her regular kibble, i would let her out to eat her duck soup and she would run fast to my dogs food and eat like a pig like she was starving....why would she want to eat his food? i took it away as soon as i cought her doing it but she never liked his food before. She doesnt do it anymore tho.
The vet checked her mouth and it was normal...her gums are notmal pink color too. so I dont think it hurts...im gonna check again when i get home to be sure.
Snapper13

  • Total Posts : 10181
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/27/2006
  • Location: Chicago
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Friday, October 21, 2011 8:11 AM
what dog food are you using?  perhaps she likes that food better because it is sweeter, and "treat-like"?
<message edited by Snapper13 on Friday, October 21, 2011 8:13 AM>
Stinker1

  • Total Posts : 32
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/2/2011
  • Status: offline
Re:UPDATE: Insulinoma and major hair loss - Friday, October 21, 2011 6:21 PM
The dog food is i think Science Diet...i get it from Petsmart. But she has stopped trying to eat it now anyways.
 
So i weighed her yesterday and she always used to weigh 1lb 7oz and now she weighs 1lb 13oz!!! her belly is so fat lol she got stuck under my bedroom door the other day too. because theres no hair on her tummy and i have hardwood foors so there was no easy sliding for her, poor baby...i had to help her under to the other side.

Jump to:

Current active users
There are 0 members and 1 guests.
Icon Legend and Permission
  • New Messages
  • No New Messages
  • Hot Topic w/ New Messages
  • Hot Topic w/o New Messages
  • Locked w/ New Messages
  • Locked w/o New Messages
  • Read Message
  • Post New Thread
  • Reply to message
  • Post New Poll
  • Submit Vote
  • Post reward post
  • Delete my own posts
  • Delete my own threads
  • Rate post

© 2000-2008 ASPPlayground.NET Forum Version 3.1.5