Message Number: YG4682 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-19 01:41:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Adrenal ferret with mammary cysts/tumors??Please help

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "B" <rikkie2000@a...> wrote:
> I have a rescue ferret that I would quess is around 4 years old.
> has shown signs of adrenal disease for around 2 years and has lost
> her hair from her waist to the middle of her tail. Her vulva was
> extreemely swollen the first year but is almost normal size now. My
> issue is that two of her teats are red and the red area on one is
> size of a dime, it is swollen and hard to the touch. Please advise.

Dear Sue:

Mammary hyperplasia (or for that matter, mammary tumors) are very
uncommon in domestic ferrets - but interestingly, very common in
black-footed ferrets, but that's a whole different subject.

However, in 50% of the 4 cases of mammary hyperplasia I have seen in
ferrets, the animals had concomitant adrenal tumors. While this
finding may simply be coincidental, the possibility that the mammary
hyperplasia is a direct result of excessive
estrogen/hydroxyprogesterone liberation from an adrenal lesion cannot
be ignored. The relative infrequence of it, couple with the
ubiquitousness of adrenal disease, though, ceratinly makes on e think
that there may be another trigger involved in this process.

It would be interesting to see if the mammary lesion regressed if the
adrenal problem is addressed.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM