Message Number: YG7107 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-09-08 06:12:00 UTC
Subject: protracted estrus/adrenal hair loss

Alicia and Sukie,
Thank you very much for this important information! I had no idea
jills can be in heat without having at least some vulvar enlargement.
Is there any info on why this condition occurs? I suppose the
estrogen in the body must reach a certain level before vulvar
swelling starts, but I was under the impression that if the amount of
estrogen is below this level then it's not enough to do the jill any
Or is the estrogen level high when they are in silent heat? And the
vulvar swelling fails for some other reason?

I saw the jill for the first time yesterday. She was not as bald as I
had expected her to be from the owners description but she has
definitely lost most of her hairs. She appeared otherwise healthy.
She has a good colour, not pale at all. Normal skin and weight. The
uterine horns did not feel enlarged. If this is protracted heat, then
I think she is still in fairly good condition. Unfortunately, I'm
having a hard time convincing the owner to take her to the vet right
away. He has several jills due to be spayed this year, and he is not
sure he can afford any extra medical bills for this jill right now.
Had it been my ferret, I would have taken her to the vets already
when she came out of heat unexpectedly. I'm thinking of maybe
offering to take the jill to the vet myself.

Another thing I would like to ask about, is if adrenal ferrets loose
their hair in a specific way. Do the hairs come off in large amounts,
or is it more like a slow thinning of the coat? Someone told me that
when her ferret had adrenal even a light touch would cause large
clumps of hair to come off.