Message Number: YG4500 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-12 11:36:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Vets please help -- Need opinions -- is this ferret

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Natasha Mohr <mohr@w...> wrote:
> I have attached two .jpgs of Gabrielle, one of my five year old
> sprites. In August, it will be two years since she was diagnosed
> cardiomyopathy. She's done very well on a combination of
digitalis, lasix,
> and enacard.
> She developed classic adrenal-pattern thinning hair at the base of
her tail
> not long after being diagnosed with the heart trouble. Her vulva
has never
> been swollen, but the pattern of hair loss has been very slowly
> up her body. The photos are actually of her hind end, where the
hair loss
> is occurring. <g>
> My dilemma is this. I have been reading with interest the
discussion about
> doing surgery on cardio ferrets, but I am not ready to risk the
> with Gab, whose heart problems are in the moderate range.
Therefore, not
> only can she not have surgery, she also cannot have blood sent for
> Tennessee adrenal panel, because the amount of blood needed can
only be
> gotten from her if she's gassed down (you gotta know Gab), and
she's so
> small that my vet actually is worried about taking that much blood
from her
> all at once, considering her heart.
> I have also been reading with interest the posts concerning
lupron. I
> already get lupron shots for one of my other ferrets, after she had
> surgeries and never got relief from symptoms. She will be on it
also going
> on two years in August. It has worked wonders for her.
> So, my questions are -- is Gabrielle adrenal? Lupron seems the
only real
> option for her, but my vet is unwilling to administer a lupron shot
> more evidence, and I thought perhaps some second opinions would
help. Will
> lupron hurt her if the hair loss is caused by something else? Is
> risk involved? Etc.

Dear Natasha: The level of resolution of the images has rendered
them very difficult to diagnose - the hair loss, to one who is not
familiar with the ferret does not show up very well.

However, the second image shows that the hair loss is progressing
forward of the tail, and while it is mild right now, it will likely
get worse.

I would have no problem in recommending Lupron for this particular
ferret, especially as it is without significant side effects and Gaby
is certainly not a surgical candidate. My suggestion would be to
give it a try.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM, DACVP
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