Message Number: YG196 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-02-25 19:19:00 UTC
Subject: Re: MSTs

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., stillkcn@g... wrote:
> I have a question about Mast Cell Tumors. I have a three and a half
> year old male that until this winter has been very healthy. THen
> fall he got the "rat tail", lost a lot of hair and has developed an
> on going MST. The mst keeps coming back in the same place and only
> last a few days. However it seems to be like a weekly occurance,
> comes in on Monday and is gone by Friday type of thing. It never
> very big, about the size of a pencil eraser. It never forms a crust
> or scab, it looks more like a blood blister than an MST but I had
> biopsied and it came back as a definite MST. It does not seem to
> bother him as he does not scratch at it or bite it, I don't even
> think he knows it is there. Should I have it removed or just leave
> alone unless it starts getting worse?

Mast cell tumors are common, invariably benign skin tumors of
ferrets - #2 overall in frequency. As they don't go malignant, even
if left alone, it probably would not hurt to wait a while.

However, my recommendation for mast cell tumors, even this atypical
one (most don't just work Monday thru Friday) is to excise it
completely. Mast cell tumors don't grow back if they are completely
removed, although animals who have previously had one removed can
have others appear over time.

Would love a photo of this MCT if you get a chance - preferably with
the hair clipped, though. Perhaps presurgically (hint).

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM
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