Message Number: SG1687 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-02-24 21:54:00 UTC
Subject: Re: apocrin adenocarcinoma
Message-ID: <22675867.1033795022145.JavaMail.root@scandium>

There were 19 apocrine gland tumor posts in the archives. This one described them best. See if it sounds like it may fit to you.

Obviously, your vet has to see this one to make sure it is not something bad that has to come out fast.

It may be something simple, too, like a cyst, but play it safe.

Note that this post is a year and half old so there may have been advances since then.

Message Number: YG133
From: Dr. Bruce Williams

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Vicki Rummel" <vicki.rummel@u...>
> My ferret, Smokey just had surgery on monday for a tumor around his
> anus. The biopsy results showed it was apocrin adenocarcinoma. Our
> vet said the prognosis is poor and that he may only have a couple
> months left. He expects the tumor to grow again and that Smokey
> not be able to have a BM. We feel so helpless.
Dear Vicki:

While we have already talked on this case, I am glad that you posted
it to the FHL, because it deserves comment.

Apocrine glands are scent glands, and as one would expect in ferrets,
they are most highly concentrated in the head, neck, the prepuce and
vulva, so this is where we see the highest incidence of these

Scent glands may become cystic or enlarged, and form a small lump
under the skin, or become neoplastic. While most tumors of scent
glands are benign, we do see a number of malignant ones. In
opposition to most skin tumors in frrets, apocrine tumors, when
malignant, often metastatize, and can cause the death of the animal.

Aprocrine adenocarcinomas, or apocrine sweat gland malignacies, when
seen in the prepuce or perivulvar area are especially problematic.
These neoplasms tend to metastasize to internal lymph nodes, often
before the skin tumor is even noticed. Internally, these tumors
either grow to a large size, or may metastasize to internal organs as
well. In the area of the pelvic canal, metastatic tumors over
several months may impact on elimination. The neoplasms are
resistant to chemotherapy, and unfortunately most commonly progress
to a point where the animals have to be put to sleep.

For this reason, I recommend early surgical intervention in tumors of
the prepuce or perineum - to identify malignancies and to prevent, if
possible, further spread of the tumor.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM