Ferrets' blog

A blog with news about my ferrets: Tata, Izzie and Liira. There will also be reminiscense about Tenchi, Adric, Ker Avon, Ryo-Ohki, Nyssa, Lady Ayeka, Romana, Pertwee, Podo, Kodo, Ella, Zephyr and Chin Soon, all of whom are gone now.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cute New Picture of Chin Soon

I've mostly been writing about Zephyr and her recovery from insulinoma surgery. Of course, reading about medical problems all the time gets to be tiresome. There is a happy, healthy seven and a half year old ferret named Chin Soon who deserves a little attention here as well. This picture was taken last night:

The ball in the picture is Zephyr's favorite toy. It was sniffed by Chin Soon but not stolen. Chin Soon is still being kind to Zephyr during her recovery.

The picture was taken with my Blackberry which is a great phone but a less than wonderful camera, hence the fuzzy picture of my little fuzzy. Hopefully I'll have some better pictures of both ferrets soon.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Zephyr: First Playtime, Worries About Post-Surgical Diabetes

Zephyr's blood glucose was 287 last night.  If Dr. Powers was in town she would have gone back to Huntersville and probably would have started on insulin.  Since Dr. Powers is out of town I decided to wait and see what her blood glucose was today. Thankfully it was down to 213.  If it stays below 250 I'll remember that the glucometer we have isn't the most accurate in the world and not overreact to one high number.  If it goes up into the danger zone again I'll have no choice.

We have experienced surgically induced diabetes with pretty much all our ferrets who have had insulinoma surgery over the years. The worst was Chin Soon, who actually had to have insulin injections for about a week. Her pancreas began working normally after that and she made a full recovery.

I did give Zephyr her first playtime last night and she mainly explored for almost half an hour.  She still has some hind end weakness but she didn't fall.  Chin Soon got excited and sniffed and followed and chatted up a storm.  She didn't try to wrestle.  She seems to understand that Zephyr isn't healthy right now, which is good.  Zephyr, for her part, did the litter pan shuffle and begged for treats :) I'll take that as a good sign.

Once Zephyr went into the fleecy blanket Chin Soon wanted lots of attention from me. She's still clearly concerned about her adopted sister. So am I.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zephyr is Recovering Beautifully

Zephyr, my ferret who had insulinoma surgery yesterday, is making a beautiful recovery so far.  She began eating kibble on her own last night in addition to her gravy and did a very professional job of emptying the food bowl and water bottle.  She has diarrhea but otherwise is eliminating normally.

Zephyr's blood glucose was 269 last night.   Post-surgical diabetes was expected and Dr. Powers called that number borderline but not of enough concern to have to bring her back just yet. This morning my glucometer gave an error and by the time I was ready to try again with another strip I had to prick her tail again.  The problem was she had already just about finished her chicken gravy.  We scruffed her to try that way and the little monster repeatedly broke the scruff.  That's how strong and feisty she is this morning.  I'll give her more gravy in a couple of hours and that should let me try again.

Right now we are weening her from prednisolone, giving her tramadol every 12 hours for pain, and a sliver of Pepcid AC in her gravy to avoid ulcers.

I was told that Chin Soon was really agitated when Zephyr wasn't around last night.  We let them briefly sniff each other through cage bars last night and put the recovery cage next to the main cage so that the two would know the other is there and is OK. That isn't good enough for Chin Soon, who frantically circled the recovery cage this morning looking for a way in and then repeatedly dumped her food bowl and deliberately missed the litter pan in protest.  The next week, while the two have to be separated, is going to be challenging.

All in all, I'm thrilled with how well Zephyr is recovering.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Zephyr: Insulinoma Surgery

Zephyr is now approximately 7½ years old. She was diagnosed with insulinoma before the holidays and has been on prednisolone which did absolutely nothing for her. She had a seizure last week and continued to have severe symptoms. Her blood glucose as of this morning was 36.

Dr. Lauren Powers at Carolina Veterinary Specialists performed insulinoma surgery on Zephyr this morning. This is the third time I've had insulinoma surgery on a ferret Zephyr's age or older and, in all three cases, either Dr. Dan Hudson, Dr. Holly Weston and now Dr. Powers believed it was the only treatment option left.

The good news is that Zephyr came through surgery just fine and is awake. Two very large nodules were removed from Zephyr's pancreas. While nothing was sent off for pathology yet Dr. Powers believes the really huge one is a carcinoma. Dr. Powers also found a small, smooth, round nodule on Zephyr's spleen which she aspirated. She believes it will prove to be benign and did not want to remove the spleen unless it was absolutely necessary so it stayed in. Everything else looked normal, including both adrenal glands and Zephyr's lymph nodes.

I'm never comfortable with surgery on a ferret Zephyr's age but sometimes it is the only good option. When Kodo and Podo had their insulinoma surgeries their quality of life improved dramatically and they lived for roughly two more years. I'm hoping we've bought that much time for Zephyr too.

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