From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-02 00:40:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Cysts
--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., sunshinerally@y... wrote:
> An individual on the FML list serve suggested my question be posted
> here, so here it comes. One of our ferrets had a clear water cyst
> her neck which was about 1/4 inch long and may be 1/8th inch high.
> The vet aspirated the cyst and the bump went down totally. The vet
> said "a cyst can be genetic and if so, the ferret would be more
> to getting more" and also, the cyst could be from an ingrown hair.
> Eleven days after having the cyst aspirated, another cyst
> appeared which was about 1/8th inch from the original cyst and
> very similiar to the old cyst. BIGs archives only showed 24
> issues concerning cysts in 6 years, which tells me they are not too
> common. Would anyone suggest we wait awhile until the cyst grows
> should we try to aspirate it now? From the information obtained,
> cysts are not a life or death issue and doesn't need to me removed.
> touching the cyst, my determination is, she is uncomfortable with
> touching her cyst. Since the ferrets bite her in this area, would
> also assume this could be irritating to her, any suggestions?
Dear Debiie - Actually, cysts are fairly common, but they are mundane
and not worth a lot of mention. The cysts that we see in ferrets are
generally swollen scent glands, whose ducts have become blocked - so
they swell. You are not aspirating water, but the secretion ofthe
gland, and over time, these cysts continue to enlarge and secrete.
You are generally faced wither with surgery to remove it, or just
repeated aspiration. Aspirating earlier is alwasy better, before it
has a chance to grow even larger, but surgery is still the best
option, especially if they are multiple. It is unusual for ferrets
to be bothered by touchign the cyst, but if this is the case, then
all the more reason to remove in entirely. The good news is that
these items are only very rarely malignant, so excision should be
With kindest regards,
Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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