Message Number: YG3724 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-05-18 15:12:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ferret coats and adrenal (was repeated passing of

>quite coarse of coat, and almost feels like there is some sort of
>coating on the hair. You can see the thinning hair pattern quite
>clearly on Gizmo's back at
> Of course the
>texture is less obvious in a photo, but I think adrenal ferrets feel

Yes, sometimes they can feel dirty; we've also noticed that. We have
also noticed that the undercoats seems to usually be lost before the
guard-hairs so the feeling is usually harsher. In addition, I think
that the changes to the skin that can happen (thinning, drying,
wrinkling, pimpling) can give a different feel at times, and we know
if someone with thick skin gets hurt a lot that we may be seeing
thinner skin combined with rowdier behavior.

>Gizmo has a smell that I have come to associate
>as, "the adrenal smell." In fact all four of the shelter ferrets that
>currently need surgery are coarse of coat and smell like that. It's
>almost a medicinal/urine type smell and I've never smelled it on a

Have noticed that, too. To us it smells more like a hormonal
increase. Differs from the sweet-rotty smell that can happen with
malignancies. When Meltdown had her sudden adrenal symptoms many
years ago we wanted him to go in right away because she smelled
sweet-rotty, and in her case it was a malignancy but caught so early
that surgery was completely curative and she went on to have 3 and
1/2 more years and eventually die in old age of a different problem

>also, handing me a ferret and saying.. see he's starting to smell
>adrenal.. so I'm not completely off my rocker.. at least one other
>person smells it. Anyone else experienced or noticed this?


We have also found that a loss of normal smell gives a good
assessment of health. Ferrets which have smell (We had one years ago
who was odorless who we had to supply with perfume for stink-status.)
and then lose odor have typically had something serious going wrong,
we've noticed, and recovery of smell is a good indicator of improving
health. Smell can be very useful in assessing them.