Message Number: YG6519 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-08-20 20:14:00 UTC
Subject: Re: adrenal ferret- surgery or lupron?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Bruce Williams, DVM" <williams@e...>
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., eeriksen@r... wrote:
> > My ferret started losing his fur on his back about two months
> He
> > is a blaze, small but active,about 1.8 lb. I adopted him last
> so
> > I don't know how old he is (they had told me about a year,
> > but the vets think older- his teeth are bad too). He is still
> > perky and plays and eats, etc. but I don't want to just let it
> > progress. His regular vet recommends Lupron therapy once a month,
> > went to another who recommends surgery. I read alot and decided
> > have the surgery. A pre-op blood test looked normal, but he later
> > bled from both feet where they took his blood. He evetually
> > and the vet said this is normal for adrenal ferrets (?) He seems
> fine
> > now and is scheduled for surgery in five days. The vet uses
> > Isoflurane gas for anesthesia. He says most of the time they do
> > well after the surgery and mostly it's the left adrenal- if it's
> the
> > right he'll close up and talk about other treatment. It seems
> > the right thing but I'm worried, since I've also read that he may
> > have complications and die due to the other adrenal not being
> > able to make enough cortisol or other complications. I know
> > risk to any surgery. I'd appreciate anyone's
> > about surgery or Lupron treatment, and which has worked for them.
> > also wonder about which will extend his life further.
> Dear Eileen:
> Thre is a lot of useful information and discussion on Lurpon vs.
> surgery in the archives, so I will direct you there. However, your
> post contains two sentences which concern me.
> 1) Pre-op bloodwork was normal, but he bled from both legs after
> took blood. While this might be something as simple as not keeping
> pressure on the venipuncture site for long enough, I would also
> enquire if a platelet tes was run. I recenlty lost on of my own
> following surgery when the platelets were markedly decreased (even
> spite of a pre-op transfusion.) I am always concerned when
> bleeding occurs.
> 2) Your vet plans to close up the ferret if a right adrenal lesion
> seen. This is not really an appropriate way to do surgery - if
> vet is not comfortable in working around the right adrenal, perhaps
> another vet may be consulted.
> Lupron is not a good option in so young a ferret - as far as we
> it only blocks estrogen's effects, but does not treat adrenal
> directly. It may be used in older ferrets who are not surgical
> candidates, but in a young ferret it poses unnecessary risk and
> time, will be more expensive than surgery.
> With kindest regards,
> bruce williams, dVM

Dear Dr. Williams,
Thank you very much for your response.
My vet drew blood from the toenails, not the legs. He must have tried
one without success, then the other. When I got him home, he was
bleeding from one toenail. I put on cornstarch and let him sleep. He
slept all night, but in the morning, a toenail on the other side
started bleeding. I put on cornstarch again, put him home again to
try and keep him quiet and he was fine after that. The vet thought
this was a little odd too in that the clotting time should have been
shorter. He is re-checking the platelet count before we consider
surgery. Could it be that he just caught the toenails on something
and started them bleeding again?
There are two exotic vets who treat ferrets around Torrance
CA where I live that I know of, both are good- one says he has had
good results in two ferrets with lupron (one is like a completely new
ferret, he says, though I don't know the ferret's age) and he likes
to take the drug option over surgery where possible, and the one I'm
going with who has performed many surgeries and says that in his
experience 90+% of them have been the left gland. He says if it is
the right one, and the mass appears to be something he feels he can
take without getting too close to the vena cava,then he'll do it,
otherwise he doesn't want to risk it and I don't think I would feel
comfortable risking it either since Barky is still a happy ferret.
I have gotten a couple of other nice responses from people with vet
recommendations in San Diego, Santa Cruz and San Francisco areas, so
I might check into those thought I don't really want to range so far
afield. Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts and anything you
might want to add would be appreciated. I will keep you posted.
Eileen Eriksen and Barky