Message Number: YG2613 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Edward Lipinski
Date: 2001-04-16 22:01:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Adrenal-induced estrus termination.

Dear Kathy,

Could it be that in a ferret displaying a swollen vulva as a consequence
of adrenal malfunction (absence) that this condition may be 'normal'
under the conditions that currently exist in the endocrine mix that is
her situation.

If the swollen vulva is a consequence of the hormonal changes that are
extant (and that may be considered 'normal') then the next step is to
'work' within the normal functioning of an artificially estral female.

By working within the normal functioning of the estral female, we all
know that the normal action that would follow would be the mating of the
estral female with a viripotent or vasectomized male ferret. Since she
would not likely become pregnant (ovaries, tubes and uterus gone) then
the options you have would be as I mentioned above: coitus with a
viripotent or vasectomized male.

Considering the difficulty of finding a vasectomized male, you are
perhaps fortunate in that a regular, intact (viripotent) male would in
this case be quite satisfactory, providing that his testicular display at
the time of coitus indicates that he is absolutely potent, let alone

What I don't know is this: would this mating terminate her estrus, since
she is maybe 'peculiar' i.e.,she's not 'normally' estral? I do not know
if this has ever been attempted before. Perhaps others with experience
may offer their suggestions too.

It seems to me that if her hormonal mix is sufficient to put her into
estrus, then a typical mating to an intact male ferret would result in
taking her out of 'heat'.

It would seem that mating her would not harm her and might just do the
trick of ending her estrus. The only one aspect of this action that I am
aware of that may be a problem is the completeness of her spay.

Depending upon the degree of the removal of her ovaries, tube, and
uterus, there may be the problem of poor surgical practice if the vet (or
tech) who did the ovariohesterectomy was a bit sloppy and took a
significant section of the upper vagina. Were this the case, then coitus
with a normal viripotent male may be very painful for her, since she will
be unable to accomodate the full length of the penis. You would
certainly know this by her behavior consequent to penetration by the
male, since she would be very, very uncooperative and would give voice to
her objection as well as her savagely biting the male.

Perhaps in your discussion with your vet about attempting this 'cure' the
vet should be able to measure the length and distensionability of her
vagina, such that her ability to accept the full length of the male's
penis would be physically possible.

This would be an unusual effort in this attempt to end her estrus, and
could possibly make her a cause celebre - one for a paper to be published
in the veterinary journals.

If you were to follow this course of action, under the direction and
supervision of your vet, I think we all would be very apprectiative of
you if you kept us abreast of your ferret's progress.

Glueck auf! [G.] Best of Luck!

Edward Lipinski @ Ferret Endowment for Research, Rehabilitation,
Education & Training Society North West Foundation, aka F.E.R.R.E.T.S. NW
Foundation, or simply FNW Foundation.

On Sun, 15 Apr 2001 13:12:57 -0400 (EDT) KEM192@W... writes:
> My ferret Sheba's vulva has been swollen for about 2 weeks and
> getting
> bigger. She has had both adrenal glands removed ( though I don't
> know
> if they were able to get the right one completely), the latest one
> being
> in december of 2000. Her appetite has been up and down since the
> surgery, and right now I feed her hill's a/d. She is able to go to
> the
> bathroom alright, but I still worry that I need to do something for
> her.
> Mike (on this mailing list) answered me as to what it might be, but
> what
> can I do for her to get the vulva to go back to normal? I talked to
> my
> vet who has treated her all her life, but she seemed not to be able
> to
> have a solution. Any help would be appreciated. No replacement
> hormone
> was ever told to me as a treatment.
> Kathy
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