Message Number: YG3421 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-10 18:50:00 UTC
Subject: Re: vaginal discharge

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Nightshifter <dinks@c...> wrote:
> Hello everyone-
> I was told I might be able to find help here. I
> recently saved a breeder's female from an exotic
> animal auction. She appeared to have just gave
> birth (or was about to) as her vagina was
> extremely enlarged and she was skinny like she
> has been giving milk.
> I did a gentle untrained palp and could feel
> a kit-sized lump (approx 5 centimeters by 2.5) in
> her abdomen which is no longer present now.
> My auction rescue girl has a dark gooey discharge
> from her vagina - I'm concerned as it appears to
> be blood. When wiped off with a paper towel it's
> reddish. Nothing in any of my books covers
> anything like this.
> On the other hand, she is eating well, drinking
> normally and her stool is normal.
> Thanks in advance - and please forgive me if I have
> broken any protocols in my posting.

The swollen vulva indicates the presence of high levels of estrogen -
which depending on her age, may mean that she is either a) in a
persistent estrus, or b) suffering from adrenal disease.

Discharges from the vagina are generally something that needs to be
taken seriously, especially if the uterus appears swollen. If she is
not already spayed, we may be dealing with a uterine infection.
Adrenal disease, due to the liberation of estrogens, may also induce
uterine infections in unspayed females, and even mild stump
infections in spayed females.

Regardless of the cause - this enlarged vulva means that if you are
not intending to breed her straightaway - she needs to go to the vet,
be examined carefully, and if not anemic, I would recommend spaying
her that visit. Also, an assessment of age and the possibility of
adrenal disease can be made at this time.

At any rate, this is one ferret who needs to see a vet soon.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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