Pancreatic beta cell tumor or insulinoma is commonly seen in middle-aged to older pet ferrets in some nations, including the United States. This article reviews the common clinical picture as well as expected laboratory results. While there is no cure for beta cell tumors, surgical debulkment of the tumor with possible partial pancreatectomy is the treatment of choice. This treatment modality is discussed as well as medical management, which centers around corticosteroid and/or diazoxide administration.
Unfortunately, neurologic disease is a common presenting problem in the ferret. Neurologic deficits may include an altered level of consciousness, paresis, ataxia, or even pelvic limb paralysis or collapse.
Neurologic diseases are relatively common in companion rabbits, and recognition of these conditions by the exotic animal clinician is very important. Encephalitozoonosis is endemic in the pet rabbit population worldwide, and is an important cause of neurologic disease in this species.
The cranial nerve exam differs little from that of mammals, however there are differences in innervation. As in mammals, menace and pupillary light response (PLR) require use of cranial nerves II (optic) and III (oculomotor), however menace is difficult to interpret in birds. Also, PLR may be overridden in birds due to the presence of striated iridal muscle. Evaluate PLR early in the exam using a sudden, bright light directed toward the medial canthus. Consensual PLR is absent due to…