Message Number: YG3492 | New FHL Archives Search
From: laugh alot
Date: 2001-05-12 06:31:21 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] questions: blood results and treatment
treatment options?

what is a positive skin tent?

From: elnrrgby1@a...

Hello all,

Just got the blood results on one of my ferrets back today. Dr. Williams is
somewhat familiar with the case, but let me give a quick recap for anyone
else who might be able to help. 3yr old MF ferret who was believed to have
Juvenile Lymphoma, or thymic dependent lymphoma, when he was 6 months old.
Had thymic mass, pleural effusion, and ascites (seen on multiple
radiographs), and elevated lymphocyte counts. Mass was also seen on
ultrasound. Was started on PediaPred immediately. Thymic mass resolved
a couple of months, as did the fluid buildup. He continued on the PediaPred
(0.75mg once daily) for the next 2.5 years. I weaned him off the Pred in
December of 2000 figuring that there was no way it could have ever been JL
since he was still alive and healthy. By January of 2001, all peripheral
lymph nodes were enlarged. I did go ahead and restart the PediaPred at this
time, at the same 0.75mg QD. We also did 3 aspirates, all were
Biopsied full node and had it checked by our regular lab. Again
inconclusive. Dr. Williams was kind enough to evaluate the samples for me
(thank you once again Dr. Williams!!!). He found atypical hyperplasia of
cells and cautioned me to watch Bhut closely. Lymph nodes did shrink a bit
initially with restarting the Pred, but became enlarged again and have
remained so ever since.

On Tuesday of this week, I noticed he was extremely lethargic and also very
dehydrated. I started him on sub-q fluids (saline only), started feeding
A/D, and offering Pedialyte. He is still extremely lethargic and does not
get out of his hammock unless forced. He willingly takes the A/D, but will
not drink water or Pedialyte on his own (and I don't like to force oral
liquids). And, despite getting 50-60 cc's of sub-q fluids twice daily, he's
still got a positive skin tent (very noticeable one) and somewhat tacky
Just today, I did a B12/B Complex injection figuring it couldn't hurt. He
is also getting Nutrical in the A/D, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (Derm

We ran a "ferret panel" with CBC through our normal lab. Chemistry had lots
of little changes....low BUN, TP of 8.1, Globulin 5.1, Total Bilirubin 0.5
and some minor differences with Sodium and Potassium levels (tenth of a
off either way). ALT was really elevated at 113, but that seems to be
with this ferret. The sample also was mildly lipemic.

CBC showed the following abnormal values:

MCV 47.5 normal range: 57.9 - 72.0
Platelets 107 170 - 630
RDW 14.2 7.0 - 14.0
Neutrophils % 86.0 14.0 - 50.0
Lymphocytes % 9.0 10.0 - 44.0
Total Lymphocytes 0.5 0.8 - 4.0

The following notes were also included:
WBC Morphology occassional toxicity
RBC morphology normal
PLT morphology platelet clumping and aggregation are noted likely
affecting the platelet count and MPV values

I was told by my vet that this most likely either denotes a marrow
suppressing cancer, or a viral infection of some sort. Given the history,
the fact that none of the other 9 ferrets in the house are ill, the vet is
once again leaning towards the cancer scenario as being most likely, and I
inclined to agree. Is this reasonable? Are we missing something else here?
Are there any other tests we should be doing short of a bone marrow biopsy?
With the Total Protein and Globulin being off, I probably should also
mention that he HAS been tested for ADV just a couple of months ago and it
was negative (Avecon saliva test). Should I retest? Any suggestions for
treatment options at this point other than what we are doing?

I apologize for the length of this. Just wanted all pertinent info to be
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


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