Message Number: YG4573 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Connie
Date: 2001-06-15 15:09:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Balding Ferret!

I live in Columbia South Carolina and would love to
know how you find a really great ferret vet. The vet
I have is suppose to be good - but how do you know!
I lost one of my little ones in May and another is on
Pedipred. I still have concerns about the one I lost.
Hind sight I can see things I think should have been
addressed by the vet, like surgery instead of 30 plus
days of antibotics for high white cell count and other
problems that would not clear up. Finally my little
one lost the use of his back legs and had a very high
temp, still got sent home. In a couple of days I
took him back, he was not better and the vet said it
was time to put him down. Now I feel so bad, I wish I
had a choice in my little ones care.

Any ideas would help. connie and the gang.

--- yvon358@c... wrote:
> Hello Jaxy25...
> I've been through 4 adrenal surgeries and have
> become pretty well versed in
> the signs. Fortunately, I live only one hour away
> from the best ferret doc
> on the planet (according to his colleagues, vet
> schools, and Internet
> articles) so I've been able to ask tons of questions
> and learn a lot.
> Anyway, 2 of mine also had "bad fur". It always
> felt coarse. I've learned
> when a ferret becomes adrenal the soft undercoat is
> the first to go leaving
> only the coarse guard hairs. Then, the pattern of
> hair loss starts at the
> backside and works its way up their backs. The tail
> and feet also look very
> thin. The vet was able to tell they were adrenal
> right away, however, I
> insisted on waiting because of the stress of
> surgery. He said their fur
> might even grow back, only to fall out again. He
> was right... both lost
> their fur, grew it back, and lost it again. Its a
> progressive, nasty disease
> and not only affects their fur, but their muscles as
> well. Eventually, they
> lose muscle mass. If you look at pictures of
> ferrets with advanced adrenal
> disease you can see how sunken they look. It seems
> to take quite some time
> to advance... it doesn't happen overnight. Mine
> actually took over a year
> just to see the beginning signs.
> The good news is that adrenal ferrets bounce back
> and respond really well to
> surgery. The problem is there aren't many vets who
> can do this surgery
> correctly. All the cells must be removed,
> otherwise, the symptoms can recur.
> Mine had laser surgery and cryo to freeze the
> tissue. After 4 surgeries and
> both glands removed I'm hoping this should take
> care of things. They will
> both have to be on hormone therapy the rest of their
> lives. Using the laser
> really helps them heal much faster. In fact, both
> were ready to play and
> acted as though they'd never even been operated on
> the day after surgery!
> There are alternatives to surgery. There are drugs
> that control the hormones
> but don't actually kill the tumor cells. Surgery is
> the only way to remove
> the tumors, by removing the glands. The only way to
> know whether or not your
> little guy is adrenal is to have an experienced
> ferret vet take a look at
> him.
> As to his eating habits... again, this is something
> a vet must determine. Is
> he losing weight? Is he lethargic? Does he
> sometimes stop and just stare?
> I believe the latter is a sign of insulinoma. Don't
> let him dehydrate...
> this can kill him. But if he eats and poops the
> same as he always has there
> probably isn't anything to worry about. I really
> hate to say anything though
> because like I said before, an experienced vet will
> be your best answer.
> About his tail.... I read something once about
> blackheads and that they
> really weren't a concern. I think it said to wash
> the tail well and try to
> keep it clean. My albino seems to have the same
> thing on her tail and it
> hasn't ever been a problem. Again, since I'm not a
> vet, I'd always recommend
> asking one.
> I know this post is long... I just thought I'd share
> the things I've learned.
> This vet is amazing and has really done wonders for
> my little ones. I'm new
> to the list and from what I recall, we aren't
> supposed to mention vet's
> names, etc. If you'd like to email me personally,
> I'd be happy to give you
> his name and number. He consults w/other vets all
> the time and is willing to
> offer assistance.
> Best wishes and good thoughts...
> -Y-
> yvon358@c...

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