Message Number: YG6449 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-08-17 19:59:00 UTC
Subject: Re: adrenal ferret- surgery or lupron?

Lisa wrote:
<I never heard of testing a bilateral adrenal
ferret 6 days after surgery. What was the reason
behind that? <

The electrolyte testing (sodium:potassium) 5-7
days post-surgery was suggested on this List by
Dr. Karen Purcell. I chose to follow her
recommendation (her book is one of my vets' ferret
bibles). Certainly can't hurt. He will be tested
again about a week after he finishes his
prednisone. Here is Dr. Karen's quote from this
List responding to my question regarding what
bloodwork (and when) should be done.

"Cortisol levels, sodium and potassium. I like to
have values within 1 week of surgery, I tend to be
paranoid about Addison's (I've seen more than a
few)." The full post can be found in the

<I don't know that I'd hope for the ectopic tissue
in there<
<So I don't know that I would "hope" for ectopic
tissue <
<It seems like not too many people have heard of
ectopic adrenal tissue or it's effects on the
adrenal symptoms, but several of us in Pittsburgh
have had to put our ferrets through another
surgery because of it. Not too encouraging!<

It appears that I offended you by my "poor" choice
of words. I'm sorry that I don't always use the
proper medical terms. I'm sure this has occurred
in places other than Pittsburgh. Perhaps I should
have said "floaters" instead of ectopic tissue.
Nevertheless, I think my point was easy enough to
understand. I was simply saying that if we could
avoid hormone therapy for the rest of his life,
that would be a good thing. I have heard of a
number of cases of bilateral adrenalectomies
(including from a number of people on this List)
who have never had to resort to hormone therapy.
So, there is something in there keeping things
stable, whatever the proper term is. Is it
possible your vet isn't doing a complete removal
and that's what's causing all of these repeat
surgeries? It sounds like you and your friends
may have experienced unusually high repeat

When searching the archives after Cedes' bilateral
adrenalectomy, I found a post from Dr. Williams
from March of this year. He stated that both
adrenals are rarely removed 100%. He also said
that "25% will do fine on pred, 25% need pred and
DOCP, and 50% don't need anything." It's the 50%
that I'm hoping for. And, I certainly hope for no
repeat surgeries but I realize that is a real