Message Number: YG1849 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-29 11:50:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Potential splenectomy surgery

Hi Karen,
There are typically 3 things that make a ferret spleen
larger than normal. 1) Extramedullary hematopoiesis- this
is the fancy term for the spleen making red blood cells. This is
common in ferrets and may result from just about any disease or
2) Lymphoma- this is a common cancer in very young and in older
ferrets. 3) Hypersplenism- this is uncommon, but it does happen.
This usually causes anemia and/or lower counts of platelets.
4) Others- other cancers (mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcomas),
Aleutian Disease, heart disease, infections of the spleen, etc.
A splenic aspirate may help to determine what the cause is.
As for the surgery itself, start at the free end and ligate the
blood vessels as close to the spleen as possible. One does
not want to ligate the gastric or pancreatic vessels. I would
suggest a broad spectrum antibiotic for 10-14 days post-op
and to recheck the PCV when the sutures are removed.
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM