Message Number: YG1935 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-03-31 22:27:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Re: Early neutering

>There was indeed ONE case report of an intact ferret with adrenal
>gland disease (JAVMA 203:271-275;1993). There was also an interesting
>article from the Netherlands that did follow ferrets that were spayed
>or neutered at different ages. Interestingly all of the ferrets were prone
>to adrenal gland disease roughly 3.5 years after the surgery(regardless
>of what age they were when the surgery was done). This seems to point to
>long photoperiods and spay/neuter as the major parts of adrenal gland disease.
>As Dr Williams pointed out black footed ferrets are not spayed or neutered and
>do not get adrenal gland disease.
>As for "hormone therapy," Lupron and Melatonin both lower the LH/FSH levels
>and that is how they control the adrenal gland disease.
>Jerry Murray, DVM

I've seen this Dutch study and I had two reputable research
mathematicians check the math. They said that there simply are NOT
conclusions that can be accurately derived from the math that was
done, that math and the figures involved simply did not warrant any
hard conclusions. There also were some serious sampling problems,
and other short-falls from a research project stand-point, but
biology is characterized complexity, and medical studies of pets in
home settings have their own hurtles in addition. It's tough

Actually, I expect that the vets who wrote the study were quite aware
of the limitations of their data. Their statements seemed to be (NOT
quotes but just my recalled impressions): 1. "We set out the get an
over-view of adrenal disease seen in the Netherlands" (which they
certainly achieved) and 2. "Here are some interesting hints we
noticed that might be worth further study". That's a completely
valid take on the results.