Message Number: YG3745 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-19 01:28:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Ferret Coats & Adrenal

I asked in a post a few weeks ago if anyone had noticed that adrenal
ferrets have a different feel to their fur long before any of the
classic symptoms appear. Judging from the recent discussion on this
subject, maybe the course, dirty feel of the fur will eventually
become an accepted early symptom of adrenal disease.

Last month my little female had her left adrenal removed just as her
vulva began to swell and when she began to have slight hair loss at
the base of her tail and up her spine. I had been watching for the
symptoms for almost a year because her fur felt like the coat of my
male ferret who had had adrenal disease the year before.

My vet said we had caught it very early, neither adrenal gland
looked enlarged, so he took the left. Although I know that the time
it takes for adrenal symptoms to disappear after surgery varies from
ferret to ferret, Cleo's symptoms have not changed at all. Her vulva
remains the same size and there is no sign of fur regrowth, even on
her belly where she was shaved.

Now I am wondering if doing surgery too early makes it difficult to
determine which adrenal is affected or if it is bilateral. I
understand the rationale for taking the left adrenal if there is a
question as to which one it is, but would it have been better to not
do surgery so early that it's difficult to tell which one it is?

Any opinions on this? Do the benefits of doing surgery in the very
early stages outweigh the risk of taking the unaffected gland and
having to go back in again?