Message Number: YG3524 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-13 23:05:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Is there a treatment for liver disease?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Outlaw50@a... wrote:
> I've read that a ferret's liver has the ability to "regenerate".
> What medications could do that?

Dear Judy:

The ability of the liver to "regenerate" is best seen in young
healthy animals in which parts of the liver are surgically removed.
In some animal species, up to 90% of the liver may be regrown.

However, this is in the young healthy animal. Older animals do not
have such regenerative capabilities, and regeneration is often
tempered by fibrosis, disordered and ineffective growth, and the
development of cirrhosis.

To my knowledge, there are no medications that truly accelerate
hepatic repair, beyond a good healthy diet and letting nature take
its course.
> Is there anything I can do to prevent him from becoming as ill as
> Cara Mia? Can liver problems be treated? His GGT was 12 on a
> blood test.

Liver problems can certainly be treated, but liver disease covers a
wide range of etiologies and cannot be simply identified as "liver
disease". Definitive diagnoses need to be identified before specific
treatments are recommended.

I generally don't make a diagnosis of liver disease based on GGT, or
any one particular enzyme. The most important value in the diagnosis
of liver disease is bilirubin, but even this compound may be elevated
in conditions other than hepatic failure.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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> Thank you in advance.