Message Number: YG4845 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-06-24 20:47:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Foot/Nail disease revisited - Dr. Williams

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., GRFerrets@a... wrote:
.... I am one of those people who had a ferret with this bizarre
> condition. My ferret Cricket had a front paw that was swollen, had
> nail beds, and had crumbly deformed nails.
> One of the things you mentioned was that something might be
> diagnosed with a necropsy. My Cricket died a couple weeks ago
(I've only
> just been able to gain Internet access or I'd have sent this post
sooner). I
> have her in a freezer and was wondering if you'd like to do a
necropsy to see
> if you can determine what this was and maybe help the other ferrets
> suffering. I don't know if the freezing will have damaged tissue
> either.

Dear Kim:

Unfortunately, freezing tissues makes them totally unsuitable for
microscopic examination. What happens is this: Cells are primarily
composed of water. When you freeze it, you change the water to a
solid, and when you thaw it again to process it into slides, the
cells are totally disrupted by the crystallization process.

Frozen cadavers are good only for gross visual inspection, and for a
mystery syndrome suvh as this, that would only cause more question
that it would solve.

At this time, I think it is time to return her to the earth or
whatever ceremony you and your family partakes in. I am sorry for
your loss.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM