Streptozocin for Ferret Insulinoma
Streptozocin, under the trade name Zanosar®, is a chemotherapy agent in the nitrosourea class. Due to its high level of toxicity to beta cells, Streptozocin is used in the treatment of cancer, specifically cancer of the pancreas, as well as carcinoid tumors and other related forms of cancer. As an antibiotic, Streptozocin works to block DNA and prevent cancer cell growth, thus shrinking the tumors.
Streptozocin in Veterinary Medicine
Streptozocin has been used in veterinary medicine for cancer treatment in dogs, cats and ferrets. A common condition among the ferret species, insulinoma, can lead to the development of pancreatic tumors.
The pancreatic tumors can produce an excess of insulin, which can result in hypoglycemia. In most cases of insulinoma, pancreatic tumors are malignant. However, medical management involving veterinary drug therapy and / or surgical removal of the tumors can prolong life and reduce the symptoms of the disease.
Common Signs of Insulinoma in Ferrets
Ferrets who develop insulinoma often begin to show signs between the ages of 4 and 6. Depending on the patient, symptoms may develop rather rapidly or progress slowly, which in some cases can be mistaken for the natural signs of aging. Some ferrets with insulinoma exhibit no symptoms of the disease.
Signs of insulinoma mirror that of hypoglycemia and may be intermittent. However, once symptoms appear, even if they do subside, a thorough veterinary examination and early detection is crucial to the management of the disease. Additionally, insulinoma can be linked to ferrets with lymphomas or adrenal disease, among other medical conditions.
Symptoms associated with insulinoma may include sluggishness, depression and weight loss. A ferret with insulinoma may also appear withdrawn and experience increased salivation and loss of hind leg coordination. In some cases, the patient can have seizures or go into a coma.
Streptozocin Indications, Precautions and Potential Side Effects
Since streptozocin is extremely toxic to the tissues, intravenous administration of the veterinary drug is necessary. Streptozocin also has the potential to compromise kidney function. In order to prevent kidney failure, intravenous fluids may be given before and after streptozocin treatment. Liver damage, nausea and vomiting are other possible effects of streptozocin.
Under the guidelines of your specialist in veterinary medicine, Diamondback Drugs can customize the appropriate dosage of streptozocin for your pet.