Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I know that some of you may be waiting to hear how my anniversary weekend went, but I'm afraid that I first have to blog about my ferret.

Eomer went in yesterday for surgery to remove tumors in his pancreas...which causes his insulinoma....and a possible tumor on his adrenal gland....which causes the dreaded adrenal cancer. I dropped him off at 7:45am yesterday morning and went on to work.

In the late morning, the vet tech called to say that the surgery was going well, but they found Eomer's spleen to be greatly enlarged and terribly inflamed. In fact, Dr D suspected that it would have ruptured in the coming weeks and my sweet boy would have bled out. Needless to say, we gave our consent for them to remove it. As expected they removed about 1/2 of his pancreas and a nodule out of the remaining half. His liver was an abnormal mustard color which may be the fact that he's been on steriods, but only the biopsy will tell. Meanwhile, the adrenals looked fine to Dr D. She hated to keep Eomer under for any longer without an obvious reason to dig further around the adrenals. However, she did say that usually she can palpate the adrenals and tell if they are cancerous. Eomer's adrenals felt fine so they closed him up. 86 minutes of surgery on a little fellow that doesn't even weigh 2 lbs.

Dr D called in the afternoon to talk about Eomer's surgery and ongoing recovery. She wanted him to stay at the vet until at least 6pm for them to monitor him. Plus, she wanted to see him today for a post-surg checkup. Then, she suggested that we could come at 7pm when he gets his next pain med dose and observe how to give it.

At 7pm, both Andrew & I arrived at the vet to pick up Eomer. He was terribly groggy and shaved in 3 places. Oh, the inhumanity! He had worked so hard to grow back his belly fur after the ultrasound, and now he was even more bare. Plus, he was shaved around his ear where they took blood and his tail where they.....oh, I can't remember. He seemed to rouse a bit at the sound of our voices, but he was so out of it. We got to see the spleen, and it was unbelieveable! I was expecting something about the size of your thumb, but it was about 2 fingers wide and 5 inches long! The end that was about to rupture was probably the size of a small plum!

At home, we set up a pallet on the floor and watched him into the night. He drank water from his water bottle that we held for him, and he did eat some Nutri-cal (aka ferret crack). Mostly though, he slept. Unfortunately, he couldn't really get up to go to the bathroom which really upset him. He thrashed around a bit, and you could tell that he was trying to go. We comforted him and told him it was okay. Finally, he let loose and we simply moved him a way from the mess, cleaned him up, and he went back to sleep.

About 2am, we finally went to bed. We set up his temporary cage in the bedroom, and even my ornery old cat didn't mind. It was like she knew that he wasn't feeling well. I didn't hear a peep from him all night until about 6am when he wet his bed. I was happy to find him a bit more coherent when I moved him out of the cage to clean up.

I took today off to be his nurse, and it's really a good thing considering the poop/pee laying down thing. At 9am, I took him to his post-surg checkup with Dr D, and she was pleased with how he looked. They weighed him, and he lost 100 grams from the surgery!!!! Andrew & I are quite flattered that she trusts our abilities as ferretparents to send him home in the state that he was in. She always tells us that we aren't your typical pet owners. (No, duh! We aren't pet owners; we're pet parents. =^..^= )

Since it was time for his morning pain meds, I took them with me to the vet. Amusingly, I did the injection while Dr D, the vet tech, and the vet assistant looked on. They were impressed, and, for a moment, it was fun to pretend that I was working as a vet tech......but that's another topic for another post.

Unfortunately, they asked if they could keep him for a few hours to give him some fluids since he was a little dehydrated. Plus, they wanted to check his glucose level. So I'm at home until I can go pick him up at 1:30pm.

Hopefully, this surgery has greatly reduced or eliminated his insulinoma symptoms. Also, it is a damn good thing that we opted for this surgery because we would have lost him when the spleen ruptured. (We lost Max in 2004 when an ulcer burst in his intestine, and he bled out. It was awful. One minute he was fine, the next minute he was sick/unresponsive, and he died at the emergency clinic.) Also, hopefully, his adrenal glands really are okay, but we still may have to face adrenal cancer down the road. It's just so common in ferts. As for his liver, only the biopsy will tell why it was mustard colored. I sure hope it's not another disease.

Cross your fingers for my little boy. He's just the sweetest thing, a poster child for ferrets, so-to-speak. He charms the hell out of everyone.