Message Number: YG1278 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-14 22:08:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Another adrenal surgery

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Shortley, Lisa" <shortleylj@m...>
> Hi everyone -
> I posted a question about the possibility of my 3.5 year old girl
> possibly being an incomplete spay but didn't receive any response
to my
> questions.
> I have gotten the results from her estrogen panel back from my
vet's and her
> estrogen level is at a 49.41. She said that normal for a spayed
female is
> less than 30. Nala had a bilateral adrenalectomy on 8/22. Four
weeks after
> that, when we checked her sodium potassium ration, it was low - so
we did
> the DOCP injections. She had her last injection 10/00 because she
> losing fur on her tail and my vet suggested holding off on her
> and redoing her ratio. In December, we redid her ratio and it was
close -
> but it was within the normal range.
> So my vet is thinking one of two things - there's either an adrenal
> in there causing the balding and the vulva swelling, or there's a
piece of
> an ovarian reminent. But she doesn't show any signs of being in
> heat and she's 3.5... If this were the case, is it something that
the vet
> who did her surgery back in August would have noticed?
> My question is...what are the odds? I mean, regardless of which it
is, she
> had to have surgery again (ugh) and she's scheduled for 3/30. I'm
just kind
> of hoping to find an answer before then if possible - or even a
> as to what it could be.

Dear Lisa:

Well I don't want to let you go without an answer again!

While ther is a possibility of an ovarian remnant - such things are
extremely uncommon in ferrets, and if the ferret was neutrered at an
early age (neutered within the first 6 weeks of life at a large
producing facility), it drops the possibility of an ovarian remenant,
even further. Coupled with the fact that an abdominal exploratory was

Since we are talking about odds here, the odds are overwhelming in
the realm of a recurrent adrenal lesion. Bilateral adrenalectomies
can be tricky, and often incomplete, as the reight adrenal curls
around the vena cava. The elevated adrenal steroids strongly
suggests a recurrent adrenal tumor. The abdominal exploratory that
you are scheduled for is appropriate, and will allow the opportunity
to check for that possible ovarian remnant.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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