Message Number: YG6207 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-08-08 11:57:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Found Midget dead

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., croebuck@w... wrote:
> I found my three year old female dead today in her cage. I had let
> out at 6:00 this morning, and she seemed fine. Had been fine,
unless I
> missed something. She had her left adrenal removed lastSeptember,
> was showing right adrenal signs with hair loss at the top of her
> Surgery was scheduled for this fall to allow some growth to the
> What do some of you think was wrong? Could there have been an
> heart problem? It's very upsetting when your ferret dies, especially
> when you don't expect it and do not know the cause of death. I have
> other sweet ones that I thought would go at any time; never expected
> Midget to go, as she was my youngest. Any input would be
> Cathy
> There are pets that will get to your heart, but a ferret will steal
> soul.

Dear Cathy -

I am sorry for your loss. Without an autopsy, however, there is
little way to diagnose the cause of Midget's sudden death. While the
heart could be the problem, sudden cardiac death is uncommon, and
most cases of heart disease have significant signs before death.

Bleeding gastric ulcers are a fairly common cause of sudden death,
with little premonitory signs, unless you very carefully watch your

Lymphoma can be silent with little premonitory signs, as can a
number of other conditions. A repidly growing adrenal tumor and
rupture of a tumor vessel can also result in sudden death.

Unfortunately, the bottom line here is that without an autopsy, we
are only guessing here.

With kindest regards in a difficult time,

Bruce Williams,DVM