Date: 2001-05-24 18:34:00 UTC
Subject: Blue Ferret Syndrome
Just something for the files or to anyone else who is interested...
Recently, we had a 3 year male ferret who had gone in for an
adrenalectomy, turn blue about 2 weeks after surgery. It started in the
arm where the catheter was placed, and then progressed to the other arm,
eventually involving all four limbs, and the body, totally avoiding the
surgery site where it remained pink.
This ferret remained active, and ate well, drank plenty of fluids,
pooped well, urinated well... no other signs of anything wrong. I
wondered at first if it was hair budding its way to the surface, but the
hair that was present was white and very fine.
Our wonderful vet came across literature on "The Blue Ferret Syndrome."
This is quoted from what he read to me over the phone, although I know
not the source. I have included some lay terms for those that are
unfamiliar with them:
"It is an unusual idiopathic (of unknown cause) condition affecting
ferrets of either sex, neutered or intact. The abdominal skin slowly
shows symmetrical bluish discoloration. All affected ferrets are
asymptomatic (without symptoms). The condition regresses spontaneously
in a few weeks. In the author's experience, this condition is most
commonly seen in ferrets that have been clipped for surgery or access to
veins during the resting phase of the hair cycle. The clipped area
remains hairless a long time and then suddenly begins to turn blue. It
appears that hair follicles are making melanin which will be
incorporated into growing hairs. Soon after the ferrets' skin turns
blue, hair regrowth begins within one to two weeks."
Well, this is exactly what has happened. The hair is coming in
throughout and evenly and he is beginning to look great. Pictures have
been taken by a photographer friend of mine and will be submitted to the
archives once I have them.
Betty and Her Blur O'Fur
For the love of ferrets...
I guess feeling blue isn't such a bad thing after all...