Message Number: YG6787 | New FHL Archives Search
From: More Ferrets?!?
Date: 2001-08-30 01:52:00 UTC
Subject: Re:Adrenal problems

From: "Mike Janke" <mjanke@m...>
I have to agree that it was inaccurate to make a blanket statement
that it's rarely an emergency. I probably should have said
that, "it's not common for it to be an emergency situation in the
early stages." Yes, like anything else, there are exceptions.

I've had my share of adrenal ferrets (Three right now. Two have had
surgery, one is not a good surgical candidate) and none have ever had
an emergency situations associated with their adrenal disease. I
waited a good two to three months after I first noticed signs before
pursuing surgery. In the two that most recently had surgery, the
surgeon had a difficult time determining which gland was affected,
they were that small. In one, the left was removed and disected
before closing to insure the affected gland was removed.

From: swamp <swamp@h...>
Assuming you run a shelter, I think what you're observing is ferrets whose
owners missed early signs of adrenal disease and were then dumped on you
when they became really sick. Since the pathology of the disease is pretty
well documented, and since this list's subscribers are more likely to be
"spot it early" types than "dump it on a shelter" types, I'd say Mike's
advice is applicable in this forum. We all agree surgery is the best
option, but sometimes the owner's finances are temporarily sicker than the
ferret. In those cases, waiting a month or two is better for everyone.


mike: i think perhaps i should be clear when we're talking about "emergency" or "serious" conditions. i don't mean the ferret is
at death's door and surgery is necessary TODAY, i mean that the surgery revealed how serious the condition is - and in a couple of
the cases, in critters who's symptoms were incredibly subtle. i can't see where you said otherwise ;)~ i just want to make sure i'm

swamp: yes, as you know i run a shelter. however, not all of the cases are long symptomatic "dumped" ferrets. of course some are;
i expect that and see if regularly. i got a trio of all adrenal ferrets couple of weeks ago. 2 have gone without surgery for over
a year while the owner purchased a couple big, fancy expensive cages. i know this because she refused to get her fat behind out of
my living room for quite some time...she kept switching between "i have such wonderful cages - you should see this one i just bought
and that one i just bought blah blah" and "<sob> i just can't pay for their care <snivel> blah blah <sob>" hahaha. anyway, two of
the critters had *almost* no symptoms and very observant owners. i admit i lumped in a friend's critter in my half dozen (knew this
critter so well i forget he didn't live here all the time ha). festus was with a VERY observant daddy; so observant in fact we
decided it was adrenal disease after introducing this single fellow to others and gasping in amazement as he raped his way through
the masses. ok...clear symptom to me, but not if daddy hadn't taken the initiative to bring him over. the other critter was
surrendered in january and has been in a fine foster home for several months now. only recently luke started having dark urine and
perhaps a drop or two on the belly after using the pan. *very* subtle in luke, and most folks might not have even mentioned it to
me as a concern. little more looking at luke, plus my gut feeling, and in he went. in both these cases the situations became dire
within two months of noticing the symptoms. FORTUNATELY, this is uncommon!!!!! absolutely and thank god!!!

while people reading this list might end up better informed than people who don't read the list, we all know - or *should* be
aware - of how very many vets and "experienced ferret owners" poo-poo adrenal troubles. i just don't want anyone to buy into the
myth that adrenal disease is "no biggie." never know how long people stop by this site or how much reading they do - so i do think
one could pick up on one comment and not get the "full picture" if you will. why, i'm getting a critter later this week who's owner
has left him with adrenal for 2.5 years now. she poo-poo'ed the ailment because the vet recommended she do so. heck, there are
several um...<cough>...shelters in this state who a) do not offer adrenal treatment to their ferrets and b) recommend that owners do
the same. why? 'cause it's "no big deal" or "not worth it - the ferrets die after a year anyway." i can't give people hard
numbers why adrenal surgery is "worth it;" that's why i approached my vet about doing a study (which by the way, folks who replied,
i'm almost done with the worksheets for you and your vets). hopefully someday i will. for now i just want to counsel folks
concerned about their critters that adrenal is not always "no big deal." and to me, that means go for surgery - better safe than
sorry. no one needs to explain financial constraints to me. 10 adrenal surgeries in 8 weeks (very unusual for my humble operation)
has my budget front and center in my universe or worry, thank you. counseling this gal that her ferret will not face certain death
if it takes a couple of months to go in for surgery is absolutely true; but let's make sure to let this gal know that we mean as
soon as humanly possible, not whenever you get around to it. i'm sure this responsible ferret owner will do what us shelter folks
so often do: cry, beg, plead and otherwise scrounge around for money. no shame in doing so, certainly!!!

i have no reason to think she won't try her best to get in for care asap, i simply wanted to make sure to emphasize the point. in
fact, i really wasn't referring to this situation, just jumping on mike's comment so as to not further the notion that adrenal
problems are "no big deal" (which i'm sure was not mike's intent - obviously from his miami ferret site he knows better). you bet
i'm happy these many beasties made it to me and to treatment; in the other 8 cases it usually was, sadly, a case of the owners
simply didn't want to spend the money.