From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-15 00:39:00 UTC
Subject: Renal cysts
>Well, kidneys are close by the adrenals, eh? so I thought I might ask a
>question re: polycystic kidney disease...it appears that there is precious
>little out there regarding the prognosis of said.
Well, honestly, the prognosis here is pretty good, because you are NOT
dealing with polycystic kidney disease. I get this question a lot -
polycystic kidney disease is a fatal disease in which NUMEROUS cysts occur
throughout both kidneys, replacing normal tissue, and inducing reanl
failure. While documented in ferrets, PKD is extremely uncommon, and
affected animals usually die well before 1 year of age.
What you are seeing is a simple renal cyst - a very common incidental
finding, usually of no clinical significance. I would surmise, even though
this is a large cyst, that if you ran bloodwork on this anial, there would
be no evidence of impaired renal function.
>We have a wonderful three year old male sable named Brando (he used
>to be heavy as his namesake) who, over the last year has dropped to
>2.2 pounds ( and has stayed there for some time...whew!). BUT he has
>exhibited a ping pong ball sized cyst on his left kidney...which was
>drained without surgery via syringe. It came back within a month and is
>now the same size as before. We think that the bulk of fluid in it is
>NOT urine but rather serous fluid. Our vet is thinking about basically
>cutting a hole in the cyst (if indeed the fluid is serous in nature) and
>letting it drain to be reabsorbed, which it should do.
I would caution against cutting a hole in the cyst - it will simply heal
closed, and if it is indeed urine-filled, you may end up with significant
peritonitis. A better solution would actually be removal of the affected
kidney. Such cysts rarely rupture, but in this case, it is probably not
worth taking the chance.
>He appears happy and plays, but runs out of energy sooner than is
>usual. He eats and drinks and does not appear to be in pain when the
>cyst is palpated. Oh, what to do..he looks far to healty to be put down
>and I could just not bear that right now.
Ferrets with PKD do not look good - they are runted, lethargic, and urinate
incessantly, as they do not have the ability to concentrate their urine.
You willnot have to put this one down.
With kindest regards,
Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List at