Message Number: YG3711 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Pam Sessoms
Date: 2001-05-18 07:18:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Ferret coats and adrenal

Christopher asked:
> Anyone else find the coat in adrenals coarser, more
> oiler with a coated texture?

I have noticed that. I actually wanted to relay the kind of weird case of
Cricket, a little formerly stray girl that's taken up residence here at my
house. When she came in, she had a nasty mystery diarrhea illness but had
THE most wonderful coat - it was soft, silky, and shiny. No signs of
adrenal disease. We eventually got her over the diarrhea problem, and
right around then, her coat changed to being coarse and rough. I kind of
chalked it up to stress, poor nutrition (her diarrhea was malabsorbtive),
etc. She still didn't have "classic" adrenal signs. Her vulva was tiny,
there was no hair loss.

Then she got the tiniest bit of hair loss right at the base of her tail
(uh-oh). The kind where it was not noticeable unless you pushed the hair
back to really *look* for it. Still no swollen vulva. And then the hair
started growing back on that little thinning area. But I'm a paranoid
type and had already had her to her vet, who didn't like the looks of it
either. We went for an ultrasound, given the general lack of clinical
signs and previously pretty consistently rotten luck with the TN blood
panel (false negatives, not typical, I know, but what can I say...).
Cricket had a huge right adrenal tumor, even with so few symptoms and the
hair growing back.

So she had surgery very soon after, and the tumor was big and nasty and
involving two liver lobes. It was cryo'd very thoroughly. Since then,
Cricket has grown her gorgeous, soft fur back! She's extremely playful
now and is a delight.

Anyway. Interesting points: In Cricket's case, her early sign was the
change to a course hair coat. And though she did finally show a tiny bit
of hair loss, it was growing back. The tumor was already quite involved,
and had we waited for further hair loss or a swollen vulva, it surely
would have only gotten worse. In fact, if I had pursued more diagnostics
more quickly after the coat change, maybe we could have gone to surgery
before the thing was messing with her liver.

On the adrenal smell thing, I have heard that from some very experienced
folks. I myself have a horrible sense of smell and so can't tell ya
anything about it. :-)


-Pam S.

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