Message Number: YG756 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-03-05 18:24:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Strange postsurgical reaction redux

A plasma cell tumor is a tumor of specialized lymphocytes (called
palsma cells) which manufacture and secrete antibodies. The process
that you describe is called an impression smear, but an impression
smear of a scab is a notoriously imprecise way to do business with
skin tumors.

Especially since ferrets don't get plasma cell tumors. But they do
get mast cell tumors, which can look similar, and often present as

It really is of little use to do a cytology on a skin tumor - just
remove them and send the tumor off - you get a precise diagnosis for
pretty much the same charge.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List at

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Mike Janke" <mjanke@m...> wrote:
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Dr. Bruce Williams"
> wrote:
> > (For those who don't know, the science of interpreting the
> > changes seen in blood samples is known as clinical pathology.)
> Speaking of clinical pathology... on a recent vet visit, I had my
> look at a small sore on Beasley's neck. It was actually just a
> and I didn't know if it was a skin tumor that he had scratched or
> what. So as a preliminary, my vet pulled the scab off and pressed
> slide against it. He showed me some odd looking cells (as I
> they appeared bluish and somewhat malformed) under the microscope
> sent the slide out to a clinical pathologist for a diagnosis.
> The diagnosis came back as a "plasma cell tumor" but it has since
> healed and is completely gone. Exactly what is a plasma cell tumor?
> Mike