Message Number: YG2876 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-23 14:31:00 UTC
Subject: Re: adrenal shocker

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Shortley, Lisa" <shortleylj@m...>
> Hello!
> Just wanted to tell you all that I had another bad thing happen
with my
> crew. I don't know why my guys are having such bad luck. But my
two year
> old ferret Tasia had an exploratory for a suspected stomach
blockage on
> Friday and while the debris was removed (white fuzzy stuff from
> an adrenal tumor on her left gland was found as well.
> Tasia showed absolutely no signs of adrenal disease - no behavior
> no coat changes - she's as white soft and fluffy as a bunny - no
> vulva - absolutely NOTHING.
> My vet said that he felt that he caught it early enough and that if
it had
> waited another 6 months or so, she would have started showing
signs. I'm
> thrilled to have caught this early but it makes me worry about the
rest of
> my crew now. Would I be overly paranoid to run the Tennessee panel
on the
> remainder of my crew that has not had adrenal surgery yet? I'd
much rather
> catch it early before they start showing signs. I know it isn't
> accurate, but in cases such as these, would it pick that up

Don't be shocked - if you open up ten middle-aged ferrets, you will
probably run across adrenal disease in at least 3 - it's not a
surprise - that's why we always do a good abdominal exploration
anytime we are in there for any reason.

Regarding the Tennessee Panel - I'll side with dr. Brugess on this
one - it is not cost-effective. The vast majority of ferrets
eventually develop pretty characteristic symptoms of hair loss,
vulvar swelling, dysuria, or a return to intact behavior - an owner
with a discriminating eye is probably as good a warning system as the
Tennessee panel, and sometimes even better.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List at

> As for the debris in her stomach, the only way I suspect that it
got into
> her system is that my guys dig at their hammocks and the fleecy
stuff that
> lines their hammocks and sacks gets loose and some always manages
to fall
> into their water bowl. She had to have dranken the fleecy stuff
with her
> water - there is no evidence of chewing and she is not a chewer at
> Anyone know what I can do to stop this from happening again short
of no
> longer using the white fleecy stuff on hammocks and things?
> Thanks for listening,
> Lisa Shortley