Message Number: YG6838 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-08-31 17:25:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Digest Number 366 RE ADREANL DZ.

Dr. Ben Otten wrote:

If you review the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine from last year you
will find an article that was published by a group from Europe that
Statistically evaluated the incidence of adrenal disease in ferrets in their
country verus the incidence reported in the same journal from 1981. The
conclusion based upon their study was that was no greater incidence of
adrenal disease in European ferrets Vs the US ferrets, and the age between
neutering and onset of disease was no different -there for the only
difference was that European ferrets are neutered later in life and therefore
develop the disease later in the animals life but still the same amount of
time after neutering, If you have ever smelled an unneutered ferret you can
understand why it is considered a benefit to neuter at an early age.

Benjamin A. Otten, DVM
Practice Limited to
Avian and Exotic Pets

I reply:

Is that the Netherland's study? The extra things they threw in like
the onset age stuff is iffy, math-wise, in mode of sampling, etc. for
the EXTRA stuff, so might hold in later study or might not. (The
study was not designed to do that, so penalizing them for the hints
would be wrong, but so would be giving too much weight to the hints
-- as well as being unfair to them. It's fine to pat them on the back
later on if the hints hold in studies more designed to take a
reliable gander at that aspect, but wrong to take them as a firm
statement in a study not designed to research this on-set timing
aspect. The hints are intriguing, certainly.) They certainly
achieved what they had set out to do, which was getting a general
idea of the prevalence of adrenal diseases in the Netherlands, and
it's interesting that it appears to be quite common when people look
for it.

One thing to note is that if the on-set ranges they mention hold up
in later study then the slush factor is so huge that there is no real
difference in on-set age range for early neuters vs. 6 month neuters,
which -- if that is real and it holds -- means that the proposed
health benefits not doing early neuters might be very off-set by the
known health problems that are caused by heat, and by abandonment
due to odor.

(BTW, that's not just my assessment of the math; being married to a
researcher and having many friends who research things for a living I
had it reviewed by several who specialize in the refinements of
research mathematics. Of course, the Netherlands vets did not set
out to look at that aspect, and they did achieve their research goal,
but included a bit more that they found intriguing, and it's good to
raise interesting questions from hints so that further research can
be done.)

If it's a further study and you get a chance, please, tell where it
is, authors, etc.. I'd like to see it. It would be marvelous to
have supporting work because that can give some clarification to the
hints. Hope someone did do a follow-up. It would be treat!