Message Number: YG3938 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-05-23 18:23:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list]RE: Question about a swollen vulva

Hi M D,
Sorry it took me so long to reply to your question.
Since the left side was removed about 6 months ago
and now you are having adrenal gland problems again
(swollen vulva), it is a pretty sure bet that the right gland
is now the problem! Yes, the right gland can be removed
in its entirety by surgery. It sure helps to have magnifying loupes
to do this delicate surgery. As you may know, the right gland
is normally very close to the caudal vena cava (the largest vein),
or attached to it, or/and sometimes even inside it. Thus this is
"the hard side." Sometimes we have to take part of the wall
of the vena cava out with the tumor, sometimes we have to
take a section of the vena cava out with the tumor, and
sometimes we even have to tie off the vena cava to remove
the right gland. As you can see this often involves doing some
vascular surgery to repair the vena cava in order to remove the
right adrenal gland. Some people recommend cryosurgery
(freezing to kill) to destroy the right adrenal gland. It is
consider to be safe, but I cannot say it gives better long
term results. We have been using cryosurgery on skin
tumors for several years, but it does not always work. My
gut feeling is the same will be true with adrenal glands.
Plus some of the right adrenal carcinomas are so large
(ping pong size to fist and a half size) that they would not
likely respond to cryosurgery. At least not with the unit
we use. I still do regular surgery with magnification (prepared
to do some vena cava repair) for the right adrenal gland.
As for the second part of your question: Yes, if both adrenal
glands are removed then the ferret will need replacement hormones
such as liquid pediapred, percorten-V injections, or florinef
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM