Date: 2001-03-05 05:56:00 UTC
Subject: RE: blocked ferret
>I have a case of a male ferret who presented with a severely distended
>bladder. Although I was unable to catheterize him, he was able to urinate
>with mild pressure on his abdomen after the procedure.
>The urine I removed via cysto was bloody with numerous bacteria, but no
>crystals. Currently his urine does not have crystals. He is gradually
>gaining the ability to urinate on his own, but still requires routine
>expression of his bladder. I suspect an atony.
The most common cause of dysuria in male ferrets is cystic prostatic disease
arising from adrenal disease. The mechanism is that the high levels of
estrogens secreted by the adrenal lesion (hyperplasia, adenoma, carcinoma -
they all do it) results in squamous metaplasia of the prostatic glands, cyst
formation, and compression of the prostatic urethra. The absence of
crystals and the inability to void while being able to be easily expressed
strongly supports this assumption in this animal. Atony is not the problem,
and the use of bethanecol is probably not indicated
In these cases, usually, you go in and take care of the adrenal disease.
However, I would suggest that the animal be hospitalized so that you can
flush him out and express the bladder until he becomes more of a surgical
While surgery is the most effective way of dealing with the problem, there
are some medical options for non-surgical candidates that may help until
adrenal surgery can be performed. Drugs that can be used to help shrink the
prostate are: Lupron (300-500 mcg/kg/month or 3 mg/kg every 4 months of the
depot product), Propecia/Proscar (finasteride)(1mg per day, decreasing to
0.1mg/day as signs regress), Casodex (bicalutamide) - 5 mg/kg sid, or
Flutamide (sorry, don't have the dose handy. With severe acute problems such
as this, you can combine Proscar and the monthly Lupron dosage, until such
time as you can address the adrenal problem.
If clinical signs of adrenal disease are not evident, ask the owner about a
return to "intact behavior" - aggressiveness, marking, mounting, etc.
With kindest regards,
Bruce Williams, dVM
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