When I came home I found one of my ferrets at the bottom of his cage, not moving at all. Even before I picked him up, I knew something was very wrong. I handle my ferrets every day, so the second something is out of the ordinary, I tend to notice it.
I picked him up, and did a quick examination while grabbing the phone to call my vet. Eyes were open (good sign) - back end paralized and stiffened (bad sign) - hard time breathing (bad sign) - lots of drool at his mouth (bad sign) - urine and poop everywhere (bad sign) - shivering and very cold hind paws (bad sign). I was able to reach the vet instantly and after describing the signs, Joke told me to try to feed him water with sugar in it, and then get over there.
I took two spoonfuls of sugar, dilluted them in water and dipped his mouth in it. No sign of movement, except for sneezing and even more problematic breathing. No tongue, no will to even taste the water. I grabbed a towel and his carrier, but after putting him into the carrier decided to go without it. That way I would be forced to keep him in my arm all the time while driving, but I figured it would be better for Happy to do so, as it would allow me to keep an eye on him, and heat him up a bit.
Traffic was a pain in the ass, and it started raining to add to the annoyance. I finally got there in about 30 minutes, and waited another 5 before Joke was done with her previous patient. As I was waiting Happy got convulsions and stiffened up again... much like what happened to Fritz, and I lost him.
When I got in, Joke did a quick examination, injected a very small drop of Valium to stop the contractions, and then took some blood in order to get a bloodsugar reading. After a few seconds the result was 65, where normal ferrets have 90 to 125. Definitely low, so she injected glucose as well, and as the Valium kept him sedated she examined him for possible injuries after a fall or so. She didn't find anything, but as I told her where I found him, and the conditions in which, she wanted to take an X-ray to be certain.
X-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary, no ruptured spleen, or intestinal blocking whatsoever. No fractures either, so to this point we think it's insulinoma. That is treatable, either with medication, or operation, but both options have advantages and disadvantages. To keep an eye on him, she kept Happy in the practice for the night, and she'll do another blood sugar test later tonight and tomorrow morning. To get his temperature back up, he'll be placed under a heathing lamp as well.
Phew... Even while he certainly is not better yet, there are some opinions about causes for the current illness. Apart from insulinoma, brain arrest, cardiac problems could be the cause as well, but she puts insulinoma as the most probable cause.
Get well messages for Happy are welcome! Bono, Max, Tisha and Plush, as well as I need as much support as we can get right now. We'll forward all good feelings towards Happy.