Message Number: YG5974 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Steph
Date: 2001-07-31 05:28:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] Adrenal Gland Question

Hi Trina,
My ferrets did not always follow what the books said with hair
loss, and so far my vet has always been right when adrenal
disease was diagnosed. Two started at a year, one of these it
was the right, and the other bilateral. I should add these
two started off with the normal hair loss pattern, but Woolf
when her tumor started to regrow after debulking (bilateral),
started with just her stomach.
Shakespeare, who showed signs at 3 years of age started with a
bald patch on one side of his hip.
I hope that this helps.
----- Original Message -----
From: Trina
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 9:17 PM

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 better.

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)

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