Message Number: YG5247 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-07-07 09:12:00 UTC
Subject: Help needed with Path report

Hi, I hope someone will be able to help me with interpetation of
these lab and path results. I will try to make it brief as possible.
My ferret was a 5yr old male. For the past year and a half he has
been in for numerous tests,blood, x-ray, ultrasound. He was having
labored breathing, and it was finally determined he had asthma. It
seemed like the right diagnosis as it appeared to be seasonal (he got
better through the winter and relapsed again this spring and summer).
We put him back on his high dose of pred to help with the
inflammation. He did not get better, remained quite depressed and
soon was fighting getting any medication. We finally had to stop the
pred as he was no longer eating when it was in his food. This past
week he was refusing food altogether and started the teeth grinding.
I assumed he had developed ulcers or had a hairball. After numerous
tests and medication we finally had to take him for exploratory
surgery as his last hope, even though he was high risk due to his
asthma. He made it through the surgery fine, but no blockages or
ulcers were found in his stomach or intestines. There were no tumors,
the only thing my vet found was a very pale liver, and a cyst near
the rt. adrenal gland, and I believe he said something about the
medistinal area, but unable to take a biopsy there due to the amount
of blood vessels in that region. Anyway, he still refused to eat.
Teeth clamped shut and would not swallow. I was faced with either
putting in a feeding tube or putting him down. My vet thought that
adding the feeding tube would only be a temporary help and it was
probably better to let him go, which I did. But I still feel uneasy
as I still don't know what was really wrong with him. I know hepatic
lipidosis is found often, but was wondering if this report suggests
something more?
I should also mention I have an ADV positive ferret here, although
everyone else tested negative in March, but have sent another
specimen out on him just to rule that out.

Here are his lab results:
WBC 1.7 (plt clumping may have lowered result)
HCT 41.0 L
Bands 59, Lymphs 23, monos 16
Glucose 79, Bun 10 L, CA 8.7 L, TP 7.4, Alb 2.2 L, Alt 555 H

Path report:
Diagnosis: 1. Severe hepatic fatty changes with mod to severe
lymphoplasmacytic histocytic cholangiohepatitis.
2. Cyst lined by cuboidal epithelium and mod
lymphohistiocytic inflammation in cyst wall with mineralization.

Comment: Fatty change could be result of diabetes or cachexia.
Endogenous or exogenous steriods can also result in hepatocellular
vacuolization, however the histologic appearance is usually different
from that observed here, which is more of an indication of fatty
change. Certain drugs and toxins can also result in fatty change.
Significant inflammation was also observed in hepatic portal areas
which would be the result of ascending inflammation from the biliary
tree as a result of underlying gastro-intestinal disease. An
opportunistic infection entering through the portal vasculature is
also possible. The orgin of the cyst is uncertain. If it came from
the gallbladder, than ascending inflammation in the wall could
account for inflammatory lesions seen in the liver. There were two
sections of abdominal fat and along with the liver and cyst would
account for the four tissues associated with this case. No lesions
were seen in the abdominal fat, and adrenal tissue was not seen.

I apologise for the length of this post, I know these issues have
been discussed before, I am just confused on whether this ferrets'
report indicates a liver failure he wouldn't have recovered from.

Thank you for your help.

I should add I am not new to ferrets and have taken in numerous ill
shelter ferrets over the years, have seen a lot, but just couldn't
seem to get a handle on what was truely wrong with him. I no longer
take in new ones, due to the one ADV + ferret here.