Message Number: YG4055 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-28 00:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: spindle cell sarcoma

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., estelle.jackson@e... wrote:
> Hi, I've just joined the group. I have 2 ferrets , 1 of which has
> three tumours removed over the last five months. Each one has come
> back from histology as an 'undifferentiatd spindle cell sarcoma'.
> I have already mentioned he has had three removed - from different
> sites at different times. The labs think they are unrelated, but I
> think there must be some relation between them. All three lumps
> to have appeared in an area that he scalded about 7months ago ( his
> back and one of his hind legs) There is some obvious superficial
> tissue in this area although the labs didn't see any sign of
> inflammation. I wonder if anyone has any ideas on any topical
> solutions to treat the skin with or any other suggestions at all as
> he has already had quite a few anaesthetics (He is only 2 years old)

Dear Estelle:

Unfortunately, I know of no topical medication that will forestall or
prevent ongoing neoplastic processes. Your tale is interesting and
unique; it is unusual to say the least to see recurrent neoplasms in
a previously injured site in a ferret. Similar problems may be seen
in other species (recurrent tumors at sites of brands is well
documented in cattle.)

I do wonder however, if we are not simply seeing incomplete excision
of a single mass from underneath the skin.

I wish that I had a good suggestion for you, but from what we
currently know about the genesis of tumors in ferrets (which is
actually very little), I can't think of any compound that would be of
help at this point - it appears to be something that we will just
need to ride out.

One possibility that I will suggest without a tremendous amount of
enthusiasm, and that may simply represent jingoistic hoohah at this
point, would be to treat the skin with a compound containing Vit E -
Vit E helps the body protect itself against free radicals - chemical
compounds that incite tissue damage and which may be involved in the
early generation of neoplasms. It is all very trendy right now, and
perhaps one day we will understand more of this process to actually
be able to use it in a very targeted manner. But it certainly won't
hurt at this point.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams,DVM