Message Number: YG5963 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Trina
Date: 2001-07-30 21:17:00 UTC
Subject: Adrenal Gland Question

Okay - this is going to be long, I apologize in advance, but
I will be going through my first surgery this week. It's
exploratory surgery on a 5yr old male, for probable adrenal
gland disease and possible insulinoma. I posted the other day
about post operative measures that I should take, and want to
thank everyone who has responded. I feel a bit more prepared
now and definitely feel more secure knowing that I can come to
you all for help. Now for my question -

I took Kitkat into my home along with Molly (not siblings),
about 2 years ago. He has always been very itchy with dry
skin, his previous owner said he's been that way since he was
a kit. At one point last year, I took him to the vet due to
the fact that he was scratching himself until he had sores all
over his belly. At that time I wondered if he might have
ringworm or some similar fungal infection. This was due to
the fact that I have been diagnosed with such an infection and
have no idea where it came from. My vet assured me that
ferrets generally fight skin infections very well and don't
usually contract such things (not that it's impossible). He
did offer to test for it but I opted not to, as we also found
a flea on him and thought this could be the cause. I came
home with Advantage and all seemed well, still itchy but

A couple of weeks ago, I scruffed him to clip his toenails and
to my dismay, I pulled out a huge clump of hair! This is when
I noticed that his belly and chest were almost bald! I took
him to the vet immediately and he informed me that it could be
Adrenal gland disease and the best measure to take was
exploratory surgery as there are no tests available that would
prove this conclusively, and are often times misleading. I
agreed to the surgery. However, my concern is that Kitkat's
Alopecia, as it is clinically called, is not concurrent with
all of the articles I have been reading. He is balding first
on his belly and chest, now from his neck and shoulders - no
balding on the feet or rearend?? Does this mean anything?
Also, I am still fighting this fungus thing, could he be
suffering from the same (I am regretting not getting that test
done)? This vet disregarded my suggestion that it could be a
fungus (my previous vet is no longer available in case your
wondering). I am also concerned about Kitkat's well being
because about 1.5 yrs ago, he had a horrible bout of ECE and
still has recurrent bouts, never lasting longer than 24hrs,
and they are occuring less frequently as time passes, but
should I be concerned? With regard to Molly, I just noticed
some balding on her belly. It wouldn't even be noticeable if
it weren't for the fact that my other two, Doja & Mixie, in
comparison have nice full pelts. Should I be worried about
Adrenal Disease in her as well? I'm not able to pull hair out
of her as I can with Kitty, and her vulva does not appear
swollen (would it be obvious, cause I can't tell?). Due to
finances, if she's in the very early stages, would medical
treatment be an option for now? FYI - she has a vet appt
scheduled for next week; I'd just like to be prepared with my
options, if any.

Thank you for any input that you can provide. (P.S. - how
about an ultrasound? That was never offered by me vet, but is
suggested in "Ferrets" magazine for detecting Adrenal tumors
as well as insulinomas?)

Trina & her furry friends (KitKat, Molly, Doja & Mixie)