Diet for ferret with Insulinoma and Lymphoma

My guy was diagnosed about a year ago with Insulinoma and then, six months ago, with Lymphoma.

It has been a struggle, but very worth it - he is on steroids twice a day and doesn’t seem to be in any pain at all.

We discovered the insulinoma when he stopped eating his kibble completely and started the usual behavior associated with the illness, i.e., drooling, scratching at his face, immobility, etc… He doesn’t do this with the regimen that he is on now, but he’s suffering some new challenges, and I’m hoping to get some advice.

I feed him four times per day, roughly four or so hours apart - giving him a mixture of Epigen Chicken wet food and Carnivore care (roughly 1 - 2 spoonfuls of wet food and a spoonful of CC). He eats this readily and his appetite is good, but lately he is getting fairly severe weakness in his hind legs. I know that this is a side-effect of the steroids, but this is creating a bad issue for him: it is getting increasingly difficult for him to poop in a clean way. He is making a mess on his rear. I clean him with pet cleaning wipes, every time I feed him, but his skin is getting very red and raw in those areas, and he is losing fur there.

Could it be that I am over-feeding him? Is this something that was just inevitable from the steroids? Also, is there something that I can apply to keep him from getting so raw that he might get an infection?

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I’d recommend cleaning him with plain water and applying a simple barrier cream. Plain vaseline or sudocrem, would probably be safest, in case he ingests any, both are known to be safe for ferrets.

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I am going through the same thing that you are with your ferret. I just got home from the vet and I am devastated. My ferret Princess has been acting perfectly normal and playing with my other two male ferrets fine. I have had her on the pred now for a few months and noticed her lymph nodes were swollen. At the vet today I was told she has lymphoma and my vet is saying I need to put her to sleep within the next 3 days so she doesn’t suffer and eventually won’t be able to breathe. I don’t know what to do now because she is eating and drinking fine. Is your ferret still doing ok? Please get back to me ASAP I’m very worried!

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I’m not surprised you are worried. What is she on prednisolone for? I’ve had a few with lymphoma, it is sadly comonn in ferrets. A couple died peacefully in their sleep, one who was a youngster had to be PTS but he wasn’t diagnosed until post mortem so it was a bit complicated

Personally if she seems happy in herself I’d carry on with the prednisolone she’s already on, as steroids slow the growth of the tumours, and let her enjoy life until you feel she is suffering.

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