Message Number: YG5211 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-07-05 21:28:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Huge tumor need advise

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., signwriter002000@y... wrote:
> My ferret [Persimmon] has developed a tumor where her scent gland
> located. At first my vet and I thought it was an impacted
> gland. Antibiotics were of no help, and it has grown to an inch and
> half in diameter. My vet, a very skilled surgeon, removed some of
> tumor, and drained the area of infection. She's been on another
> antibiotic since then [ten days ago] and it seems to have the
> infection under control. She's also on Prednisone. But here is what
> scares me, my vet doesn't think she'll make it through surgery to
> remove the entire tumor. There is a lot of blood involved with this
> tumor, and it is invading the anal/rectal region. Time is of the
> essence here. He said it may be possible to remove smaller amounts
> a time. But this thing is growing like crazy! I've heard that
> angiogenesis inhibitors work well in humans with tumors, and was
> wondering if such was available for veterinary use. Could such a
> help in this situation? Or should I search for a specialist? My vet
> thinks that a blood transfusion in this case [during surgery] would
> be useless. He says [if I understood him correctly], that there
> be more blood coming out of the ferret than we could replace. What
> should we do? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Sandi

Dear Sandi -

We had a recent discussion on this list on apocrine tumors of the
perianal area (which is the likely diagnosis here.) These are highly
malignant neoplasms which invade widely within the perianal area, and
usually have already metastasized to internal lymph nodes before they
are noticed clinically.

I am currently not familiar with the use of angiogenesis inhibitors
in ferrets, and chemotherapy has not as of yet proved to be of much
assistance with these neoplasms. It is likely that the disease is
advanced at this point, and that complete surgical excision is

Right now, there is no effective way to control the growth and spread
of these tumors, at least no documented way. Early surgical excision
often doesn't even prevent metastasis and regrowth.

I wish I had better news for you.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM