Message Number: YG4142 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-30 22:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: cholangiohepatitis

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., lneas@u... wrote:
> Hi,
> My ferret ( Stubby 5 y/o male rescue) recently had surgery for
> several problems to include insulinoma, adrenal and a couple
> lymph nodes and via a biopsy of the liver during the surgery was
> diagnosed with cholangiohepatitis. According to my vet he is seeing
> more and more of this type of hepatitis. Once Stubby recovers from
> surgery he will likely be put on prednisone and continue with an
> antibiotic. Has anybody heard of cholangiohepatitis in ferrets?? I
> would be interested in the cause and possible prognosis for a
> with this illness.

Aha - a night of incidental pathological findings - first adrenal
cysts in the previous post, and now this.

Cholangiohepatitis, or portal hepatitis is a common incidental
fidning associated with chronic inflammation of the gasrointstinal
tract, and rare is the middle aged animal that doesn't have it to one
degree or another. In the vast majority of cases, the inflammation
is mild, and chronic, and is the result of either Helicobacter
infection of the stomach, or previous exposure to ferret coronavirus
(although any GI illness can cause it over the long term.)

It is not that there is an increased incidence of this finding, as it
is failry uniform over most middle-aged ferrets, it is probably just
that the pathologist which your vet uses is becomine more attuned to

In the vast majority of cases, I consider it to be a background
lesion, or a normal finding for older ferrets. It is only when the
finding is considered severe, or the inflammatory infiltrate contains
a predominance of neutrophils (indicating an active bacterial
infectionof the gut and/or the biliary tree), that we should become
concerned at all.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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