Message Number: YG4256 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Steph
Date: 2001-06-03 05:47:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] A question for the FML and
FHL-cross posting

Larry, I am so sorry about your loss. My little girl Woolf
just passed away from a lymphosarcoma, so I know how you feel.
I just wanted to respond to your question about whether you
did the right thing. I would say that you definite4ly did the
right thing. I personally would value the extra two months
that you had with Socks as a gift. It sounds like he enjoyed
most of the 2 months. My first 3 ferrets had adrenal gland
surgeries. Hemingway had surgery on his right adrenal gland
at a year of age and never had a recurrence. Woolf had
bilateral adrenal gland (passed away from lymphosarcoma at 6
years of age), which she developed at a year of age and had 3
surgeries for, and Shakespeare had it in his left and had it
remove. With adrenal gland, because the prognosis is usually
good I think that it is worth the risk. But I am also someone
who has done surgery on my rats to give them a few extra
months. To me life is so valuable and so long it is not
excuciating for my pets any extra time is worth it.
Unfortunately there are no guarantees.
All my best,
----- Original Message -----
From: Larry McFarlane
To: Ferret-Health- List ; Gruber, Bill
Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2001 6:07 PM
FHL-cross posting

I'm cross posting this onto both the FML and the FHL.

As you all know, I lost my boy Socks April 22. The
preliminary autopsy report stated huge adrenal mass. In
January Socks had adrenal surgery, and it was the right
adrenal, the largest that the vet had ever seen. There was
no way to take it with laser surgery and so they did
cryosurgery. Socks responded well, grew coat back, gained

On 4/22 he was gone. He didn't look good the 20th, the 21st
I got him to his vet at Purdue and onto antibiotics, the
22nd I lost him.

I've faxed the report to both the surgeon and to Dr.
Williams. The surgeon called me and told me (Dr. Williams I
hope I get this correct) that the adrenal, although it
looked fine on the outside, was totally invasive to the vena
cava and surrounding area, and spread cancer into Socks.
From the sound of it, this was also what was causing his
lung problems. His last few hours, besides the cancer, were
compounded by liver failure, a back up of enzymes into his
system. The vet told me there was absolutely nothing I
could have done for him-that I'd done my best by having him
go through surgery.

Now I notice that Alix' tail is thin. My question to any
one who cares to respond, and I really hope you do is this.
If you have your ferret taken into surgery, and it's like
Socks' tumor-huge, absolutely positively huge (it had even
caused the blood flow to move), and the tumor looks normal,
would you allow your ferret to wake up from this surgery
knowing that something this size and degree is possibly
cancer? Having gone through this with Socks I now have all
sorts of doubts in my mind. WHat if I take Alix into
surgery and she has the same type of tumor as Socks? Do I
give her a couple of more months to possibly die in the way
Socks did, or do I just let her pass to the Rainbow Bridge,
knowing that this may not possibly be cancer, but afraid to
let her suffer anymore? I am so torn by this. I even asked
the vet if I did the right thing, did I do the wrong thing
by putting him through surgery? I knew from the ultrasound
how huge this thing was. You could see where the blood flow
had re-routed itself. But I didn't know it was cancer,
although with something this huge and this invasive I
perhaps should have. But this was my first time dealing
with adrenal. Fang had her surgery, and thank God it was
the left-no problems, not all that huge, laser took it all.
But now there's Alix, my little girl with the partly broken
spirit. I don't know that this is adrenal, but just in case
it is, tell me your views.

For the folks of the FML-I'm asking this in an open forum-I
don't want flames, blames, whatever. Think rationally,
answer rationally. Yes, what I've asked is emotional, it's
gut wrenching. I know-I've just gone through it, and even
though it's been over a month, I still cry for Socks and
wonder if I really did do the right thing for him. So
please, don't get hyper or bent out of shape, start flinging
barbs, accusations. That's not what this post is about.
It's asking for your views. I know deep in my heart that I
will probably have Alix go through surgery if necessary, and
no doubt will let her wake up, even if it is a terrible
tumor, but please, tell me your views.

Rebecca & the Crew of Merry Mayhem
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art
crunchy, and taste good with ketchup"

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