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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11511
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My ferret is 6 and has adrenal disease and insulinoma. I've

Customer Question

My ferret is 6 and has adrenal disease and insulinoma. I've notice he is far more lethargic, he urinates a lot and I think his prostate is swollen. He is eating and drinking. I'm unsure if it's almost time to put him down. I don't want him to suffer.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.


I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in small animal health. I'm sorry to hear that you are having to make the most difficult decision we face as pet owners.

it all comes down to Willie's quality of life. Once an animal becomes lethargic with a chronic disease, it often means there is pain or at least discomfort, and he may not be getting a lot of enjoyment out of life either. I can assure you that if you decide to let him go now, no fellow animal lover would think you have done it too early. You know with certainty that he is not going to get any better, but will only continue the gradual decline that insulinoma eventually causes.. Here is a site that may help you with the decision:

This is a decision only you can make. It's normal to feel guilty and unsure no matter which way you decide to go - Am I causing him to suffer longer by not euthanizing him? Am I taking away some enjoyment of life by doing it now? There's no doubt that it's a horrible decision to make. You can look at how much enjoyment Willie gets from eating. Does he eat with gusto, or pick at his food? When he's asleep, does he seem comfortable, or does he shift positions a lot as if he can't get comfortable? Eating and restful sleep are often the last remaining things a pet may still enjoy, and if he's not getting any comfort or pleasure from them, then his life doesn't have much quality any more.

I can't make the decision for you, but only give you some things to consider. If it would help you to talk some more about this, just click on REPLY and post (no additional charge). I've been through this more than once, so I know how painful it is. If I can help you further in any way, let me know.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Anna
Thank you for your reply. I took Willie into the vet today he had blood drawn his urine checked and xray. Everything came back good except his prostate is enlarged and he has trace amounts of blood in his urine. I brought him back home with me as they suggested I follow up with a vet who specializes in ferrets. They gave him fluids and said to watch him. I originally felt reassured by this but am now thinking I know Willie better tham anyone and I know he's not been acting right. I will watch him but if you have any additional info I'd appreciate it.
Thank you
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome, Alyssa. You are right that you know Willie better than anyone. You have to go with what your own heart tells you to do. The fluids probably will make him feel better at least temporarily. That will give you a little more time to think things through. But if you feel he is suffering before you can see the ferret specialist, then do what you feel is right. If there's a chance the specialist might know of a new or better treatment, you might want to wait and get his/her opinion, provided Willie is not in pain. Blood on n the urine can indicate many different things, ranging from a urinary tract infection to bladder stones to cancer. Only some tests can tell you what that might be. It's too bad this is the weekend because the sooner you can see the specialist, the better. I know this is a heartbreaking decision. If you choose to put him down now, you may wonder if the specialist might have had new information. But if you choose to wait, and something bad happens to him, you'll feel terrible about that. I do understand the agony, but in the end, only you can make the decision. As you said, you know Willie best, ***** ***** know your own heart best. I am here if you need to talk more, but I can't make the decision for you. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Anna