How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9954
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience treating cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, and iguanas
49838867
Type Your Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Kara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I have a 6y.o. ferret with these symptoms last night:

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a 6y.o. ferret with these symptoms last night: strong convulsions, heavy breathing and ocasional screaming, recedeed with honey and water but has gone limp and is irresponsive since. Could it be insuloma?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help with your concerns about your little one.

The symptoms he is displaying and his response to treatment with honey are fairly classic for an insulinoma. I do recommend a urinalysis, full blood count and biochemistry panel though as other causes of low blood sugar, including liver disease and a severe infection need to be looked for as possible causes as well. I also recommend these further tests because we want to be aware of other health issues if they are present as it may influence how we choose to treat him.

It may be difficult to see insulinoma tumor(s) on the pancreas, especially for someone that isn't used to looking for them. In most cases however we don't need an ultrasound for a diagnosis, although it may be helpful to evaluate him for metastases to his liver, spleen and lymph nodes. We can usually diagnose an insulinoma however by the symptoms and if his resting blood sugar is less than 70mg/dl.

I understand that you are taking him to a specialist tomorrow, and they will certainly help with diagnosis and therapy options, but you need to keep him stable in the meantime.

You should be feeding him a high quality food high in protein and fat and low in simple carbohydrates in small amounts every couple of hours to keep his blood sugar levels consistent. If he becomes symptomatic it is OK to use glucose sources like honey or karo syrup to quickly get his blood sugar up but as sugars stimulate insulin release in general we want to avoid them. Try to keep him quiet and keep his stress levels down to reduce calorie needs.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello again, I am mainly concerned about the fact that he is totally limp and does not make any effort to move in any way since the episode more than 12 hrs ago. I am giving him water via a syringe, which he will take, he has passed urine but not faeces. Besides his limpness, he does have very slight contractions of the limbs which seem to go with his heartbeat. Should I try liquid food such as chiken soup or some kind broth?


 


Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry I did not understand that he has become totally limp. My understanding was that he was weak but able to move and was mentally aware. I am very concerned for him give your description. The "muscle contractions" you are seeing could be due to hypoglycemia or mineral or electrolyte imbalances.

Is he mentally unaware?

If not trying to get any food in him could lead to aspiration pneumonia and worsen his prognosis.

If he is mentally aware and just seems very weak you could try meat baby foods via a syringe, or Hills prescription a/d every hour.

I would call the specialist and ask if he can be admitted now as an emergency as they could at least get him on fluids and stabilized even if they cannot fully evaluate him until tomorrow. I am very worried for your little guy.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

His eyes are open with some blinking once in a while, breathing is regular and seems relaxed, but is not aware of anything and does not respond to sound or touch and has no conscious or voluntary movement.


Blood sugar levels were normal this morning according to the vet, but I did give him a good amount of honey throughout the night. She did not run full tests either as they take time here to get the results and is not a specialist in ferrets.


There is no emergency service in my area, taking him to the faculty is already going to be a trip.


I hope he makes it through the night, but it's not looking too good...


Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

I'm so very sorry to hear that you are in this spot with him. If he was getting honey all night his glucose readings may indeed have been affected. Or it is possible that he has severe liver disease or a systemic infection. If he makes it the specialist should be able to tell you more.

Given what you have told me about his condition I am worried about aspiration pneumonia if you try and force feed him, but it would be nice to get some calories in. You could put a dot of meat baby food on his tongue and see if he can swallow it. If he doesn't then I don't recommend forcing anything else in.

Keep him warm and quiet, and use honey on his gums if he appears to start seizure activity. Try not to give anything for 4 hours before his specialist visit if possible.

Please let me know how things turn out for your little one.

Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9954
Experience: Over 20 years of experience treating cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, mice, and iguanas
Dr. Kara and 7 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
< Last | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George Boca Raton, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2630
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1656
    12 years of small animal veterinary medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1451
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PC/pcbobber/photo.64x64.JPG Dr. Bob's Avatar

    Dr. Bob

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1306
    35 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    865
    12 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1889
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • /img/icons/shirt.jpg Dr. Jenn's Avatar

    Dr. Jenn

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1225
    Practicing small animal medicine since 2004 , also involved in working with animal rescue groups.