Message Number: YG6047 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-08-01 18:01:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Digest Number 318- Katherine
Bi-lateral Adrenal

In a message dated 7/31/01 8:55:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Katherine writes: subject- Bilateral

1. What blood tests need to be run; i.e. what are
we looking for to determine whether hormone levels
are OK?

When Bandit had his adrenals removed same procedure your Cede had, I was
told my Doctor Weiss to run and electrolyte blood test to look at his Sodium
and Potassium levels. (They must be within a certain ratio- perhaps one of
our vets could comment on this, what that ratio is) I believe that test will
let you know whether he's producing enough hormones without hormone

When should this test(s) be run? Is it
on a certain time frame? Seems like I remember
reading that one test should be done pretty
quickly after the surgery but that's the extent of
my memory.

I had Bandit on the same treatment protocol following surgery as you do with
Cedes the pred.and clavimox and then the weaning period. Once you stop the
meds, you wait seven days and then have his Sodium and Potassium levels

Please run this by your vet but if my memory serves me right this is what I
did with Bandit based on Dr. Weiss' advice.

2. What drugs are given to "fix" any problems
resulting from both adrenal glands being removed?
Doc has Cedes on PediaPred over the course of
about 45 days (twice a day for 5 days, once a day
for 5 days, once every other day for the
remainder). What is this for (I forgot to ask on
the phone and he was in surgery when I picked
Cedes up)?

I believe the pred is used in this case for two reasons: The most important I
believe because it's a steroid and if the vets unsure he's producing it on
his own, well, this would be a reason to have him on it.

The second reason is I believe it helps the inflammations caused by the
surgery- it's also an anti-inflammatory (pred)

Should this be for the rest of his
life (depending on the bloodwork results)? Dr.
Williams mentioned in a post in March (see, I
really did search the archives) that 25% will do
fine on pred, 25% need pred and DOCP, and 50%
don't need anything. How do you make this

Again, if his electrolytes Sodium and Potassium are within normal range this
indicates he does not need the hormone replacements. However, if they are
not your vet will determine if he needs both Pred and DOCP.

As far as I know if he does not need hormone replacements he has some adrenal
tissue left behind pumping out the hormones. This was very confusing to me
initially because I automatically assumed "that's a bad thing then" -the
tumor will come back. Dr. Weiss said to me at the time that was not
necessarily true that perhaps ferrets produced the hormones in another part
of the body as well. I know sounds kinda strange to me, no other vets seem
to support this idea. So in Bandit's case I believe he must have some
ectopic tissue left over from the surgery. I recently ran the Tennessee
Panel because he was more lethargic and hairloss on his tail. The results
were slightly elevated hormone levels. The vet said to check it again in six

I hope this helps some. Please check with you vet to verify this information
because Bandit's surgery was a year in a half ago and I could be looking over
something or giving you the wrong information.

Feel free to e-mail me directly and keep us posted about Cede.