Date: 2001-06-15 14:28:00 UTC
Subject: Removal of Adrenal Glands
(This message is for Dr. Williams because it requires a vet's opinion)
Dr. Williams I have a ferret Bandit (whom I wrote to you in the past about)-
He is 5 years old and had both adrenal removed a year in a 1/2 ago. One
adrenal was surgically removed and the other was frozen with cryosurgery.
I was told by the dr. who performed the surgery as long as I had Bandits
electrolytes checked regularly (sodium & potassium levels in particular) and
they we're in normal limits he would not need hormone replacements. Well,
Bandit never has needed them and seemed fine up until he got ECE from my new
kit-it's been about 3 months post ECE and his stools are still bad and he
urinates frequently and he leaves urine on his belly (something somewhat
new). As you suggested I had a urinalysis done and the results were
negative. The Doctor said there was no blood in the urine and the pH level
was normal and the concentration was what it should be. He said there was
some protein in the urine but that was normal.
Backdrop: I had Bandit's urine checked because he was voiding so much urine
and it was dilute and his stools were still so bad. Stool sample came out
negative. Bandit's been loosing hair on his tail and back paws and I can
actually see little hairs fall off of him. It really looks as if it's a
seasonal shed-it's not shedding anywhere else and his coat is soft and shiny.
This vet agrees. But these are soon of the reasons I took him to the vet.
Question: What else do I need to ask him in terms of the results of the
urinalysis? What other types of things do you look for??
He said a culture wasn't necessary.
Question: This Dr. seems to believe that maybe Bandit has Addison's Disease
since he doesn't have any adrenals. He also said that to check he would need
to take at least 3cc's of blood to check his cortisol levels and he would
have put him out for that, which he really doesn't want to do. Bandit had
bloodwork done about a month ago and everything came back normal....This vet
suggests I call the vet that did the operation and ask him exactly what he
did during the surgery. He also explained to me that when I had Bandit's
adrenals removed I should have had ran a pathology on the adrenals to see if
they we're cancerous. He could not believe that the vet who did the
operation wouldn't insist on this because Bandit could have cancerous adrenal
tumor left over-since he's not needing hormone replacements.
I'm so confused!! Everywhere I turn someone has a different opinion and is
giving me conflicting advice. I really like what you have said in regard to
ferret care and I'm asking you your opinion on all of this???
Question: Why would this vet need to run his cortisol levels-couldn't he just
tell if he had Addison's Disease just by checking his sodium potassium
levels??? The doctor who did the surgery said that if they were normal no
hormones were needed.
Question: Do you agree that it was foolish not to have gotten the pathology
on the adrenals removed?? The Doctor who did the surgery said it was that
necessary that he believes the tumor had not spread anywhere else and in most
cases it's benign.
I'm sorry this is so long...but I really could use your help.