Message Number: YG2769 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-19 20:40:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Dr. Williams: Question on the Splene

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., jeggink98@y... wrote:
the following (along with some of
> my own facts):
> 1. The splene is as large as would be in a 40lb dog
> 2. Simba has lost ~0.5 lbs since his last check-up
> 3. His last check up was 5 mths ago and he was perfectly fine then.
> 4. He is slightly lethargic.
> 5. He eats, poops, and pees fine
> 6. He has some trouble going up the ramps.
> 7. He eats and drinks fine
> 8. His lymph nodes are not swolen right now
> 9. The spleen is smooth and firm
> The surgery is scheduled in 2 weeks. I was told that when the
> gets that large, there is something usually causing it. He did
> mention that there was the possibility of cancer.
> My question is what is the possibility of cancer being there? Is
> there any other information that I need to know? He will take the
> spleen out and send a piece of it for biopsy and also check the
> inside of him.
Dear Judi:

Splenomegaly is a common finding in ferrets, and is most commonly the
result of chronic inflammation, usually in th egastrointestinal
tract. ARound 95% of spleens are benign, and are enlarged simply by
a proliferation of immature red and white blood cells in response to
the circulating chemicals liberated by the chronic inflammation.

Around 5% of enlarged spleens are due to tumors - with lymphoma being
the most common of these. But the odds are still remarkably in your

Splenectomies are a common method of treating this condition, and
usually have very good results. Make sure that biopsy gets sent in,

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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