From: Lisa Shortley
Date: 2001-07-26 14:55:00 UTC
Subject: Nala's cause of death is determined
Hi Dr Williams,
I'd posted almost three weeks ago about my 4 year old ferret Nala's
sudden passing. The pathology and toxicology reports came back today
and my vet spoke directly with the pathologist who examined the
samples. My vet submitted Nala's entire stomach - not just sections
of it - in case something was missed by her necropsy.
Cornell called her with the results. They have not sent the report
to her yet so some of the exact specifics are not yet known. Here is
what was found:
First, the white flecks in her stomach were egg shells and there was
no signs of anything toxic that killed her OR lead based paint
poisoning. What caused her death can in no way harm my other pets
and it was not anyone's fault that she died.
So now the reason...
The pathologist found one small area of cancerous cells in the body
of her stomach (not in the pylorus). This was a fairly flat area of
abnormal cells - not a large tumor or growth. The type of carcinoma
will be listed in the report when it is submitted to the hospital
(and they will send me a copy). She hasn't been told what type yet.
These cells caused a hemmorage in the stomach and the cancer invaded
some of the gastric vessels which caused the bleeding and sudden
anemia rather than the chronic wasting normally seen in ferrets with
It was found that these cells ulcerated almost clear through her
stomach. They hit a large vessel outside of her somach and this is
what caused the sudden bleeding.
There was no signs of a gastric ulcer - the cause of death was due to
the cancerous cells. She is not sure if this cancer was invasive as
only the stomach was submitted.
So there it all is. Does this sound conclusive?