Message Number: YG720 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Shortley, Lisa
Date: 2001-03-05 10:14:00 UTC
Subject: More questions on bilateral adrenal regrowth

Hi Dr Williams and everyone!
Today I post with great confusion and am really looking for
some advice, based either on your knowledge or experience.
I've noticed a great amount of talk on ferrets requiring 2
surgeries for adrenal glands...and also some talk about
regrowth of adrenal tumors.
I have a very special girl living with me who completely has
me and my vet stumped (as well as everyone who knows her!).
Here's the history:
Nala is 3 1/2 years old - NOT MF - but we *think* Triple F.
She was surrendered to a shelter when she was around one year
old - and was showing early signs of adrenal disease (hair
loss, swollen vulva).
About 6 months later, she had the Tennessee panel done (levels
came back within range of being adrenal). She was entered
into a loco vet's research study which was looking at the
effects of Lupron injections on adrenal ferrets.
The Lupron helped with her hair loss greatly.
I adopted Nala when she turned 2 years old - still adrenal.
She had surgery on 8/22/00 - cryosurgery and she was
bilateral. She had a larger growth on her right gland and a
smaller tumor on her left.
When we had her sodium/potasium ration done, she came out at a
25. 27 is considered within normal range for not needing
hormone replacement therapy. My vet taught me how to give the
monthly injections of DOCP. Nala had two injections in total.
By October - two months after surgery - Nala still wasn't
regrowing her fur much - she is a light silver and looks very
pink all through her back and sides.
In October, she lost the fur on her tail. I spoke
with Dr Weiss (who did the cryosurgery) as well as my vet here
in Pgh. He suggested holding off for 2 months on the DOCP and
checking her sodium/potasium levels again. We had her levels
retested in early January - they came back at a 29 - normal
range. So no more DOCP injections.
Since that time, Nala still has not grown in any fur.
Her vulva has never disappeared after surgery - but was MUCH
smaller and subdued. Within the past two weeks, Nala's vulva
has gotten somewhat swollen and for two days - she had some
discharge. Her nipples also look irritated and when I bathe
her - they turn blood red and swell.
Nala and I went to the vet's on Thurs for bloodwork. She is
having her estrogen panel done at Cornell - and had a CBC done
to check her white blood count to rule out infection.
I am so confused. How common is adrenal regrowth after
surgery. I knew with cryosurgery that it was possible - but I
guess I assumed that it was one of those rare things that
could possibly occur.
Also, is it possible that she is an incomplete spay that is
showing signs of going in and out of partial heat? Her vulva
has no odor to it nor does she have any odor on her. She's
always been sickly - she's had recurring respitory infections,
dehydration, crappy coats, etc. Could it be possible that an
impartial spay is contributing to this?
Would the vet who did her adrenal surgery have noticed if she
was an incomplete spay - or is this something that would only
be noticed if he was looking for it?
I know I've read here that a partial spay is something that is
often talked about but rarely seen. How rare is rare? How
likely are these types of symptoms linked to something like
this? Nala will be 4 in July.
Thanks so much for any input, suggestions, advice, or
knowledge on this. Right now we are kind of doing bloodwork
to rule out various things (the adrenal disease, a UTI or a
vaginal infection). If these all come back the
impartial spay route a route we should look into or am I way
off with this?
Lisa Shortley