Message Number: YG3527 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-14 08:15:00 UTC
Subject: Our Ferret McKay is sick

Dear Sara:

I get a number of emails on this problem. It is not uncommon following an
adrenal surgery for ferrets to regrow an entire coat - in fact some may lose
the existing hair as part of this process. Developing follicles give the
skin a blue-black cast several days before the hair is noticeable,
especially in sables.

This explains why his appetite and activity are normal, as well as all other
parameters. Many ferrets have bumps over their eyes when there are long hair
growing out of them. I would imagine if he has lost hair on his paws, that
they may be cool to the touch, but that is probably just a reflection of
ambient temperature.

If everything else looks good, I'd hold off on any treatment and see what
the coat does over about 3-5 days.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List:

-----Original Message-----
From: CJ & Sara Duncan [mailto:p0stcards@e...]
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 4:44 PM
To: williamsb@a...

Dear Dr.. Williams:

My name is Sara Duncan and I live in Wichita, Kansas. My husband and I own
two ferrets, McKay (male) and Maya (female), both are 3 1/2 years old.

Here is the story....even our vet is confused! So, I offered to get online
and help her research to find any answers. McKay is at her office right
now. Here month ago today, McKay had his left adrenal gland
removed due to an adrenal gland tumor and he also had a tumor removed from
his right adrenal gland- but the gland was left in tack. His recovery has
been rather normal until last night. We let him out of his cage for at
least 30 minutes each morning and one hour a night...last night, I let him
out and he jumped up on the couch to say Hello and his front paws were
turning blue. There is also noticeable hair loss on his front and back
paws. His belly area above the incision is an ashen gray-blue color. My
husband and I freaked out and called our vet at home. She told us to take
him to the Emergency Animal Hospital and to have them check his vitals. We
did this and his exam was normal. No shortness of breath, no irregular
heartbeat, pulse was normal as well as everything else. We brought him home
and waited to take him into our vet today.

By this morning, his whole body had turned blue-gray. He is also loosing
hair on his chest and his front paws are now bald and very cold to the
touch. His front pads are also slightly swollen. He has grayish circles
around his eyes and little bumps right above each eye.

His appetite is normal and he is not dehydrated. His bathroom activities
are also normal with no change in his stools. Our vet is doing blood work
as she has been treating ferrets since 91 and has never seen anything like
this before. Do you have any ideas? Any and all correspondence will be
greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Sara Duncan