Message Number: YG830 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Mike Janke
Date: 2001-03-06 18:16:00 UTC
Subject: Re: adrenal disease/insulinoma

Adrenal disease is routinely diagnosed symptomatically, though some
people opt to have an "adrenal panel" run by the University of
Tennessee in questionable cases. Ultrasound and x-rays are rarely
helpful. In my experience, if it "looks like a duck, quacks like a
duck and walks like a duck..."

It does sound as if your ferret has adrenal disease. If you're
interested in having this adrenal panel testing done, you can find a
couple links with information on where to send the sample and how to
send it to the U. of Tenn. on my website at I don't know if it's something that
could be done from Germany unless sent in an expeditious manner.

Serum cortisol levels are rarely elevated in ferrets with adrenal
disease and Cushings is something I've never heard of occuring in
ferrets. One of the vets here may wish to comment on this, but I'd
have to say that it's rare enough that it doesn't even need to be

I know of no adverse reactions if Lupron is given in combination with
prednisone. I have one ferret that has been receiving both of these
drugs for a year or more now and there has been absolutely no
problem. I also know of no side effects of Lupron usage. One vet
reported reddening around the injection site for a few days, but that
rapidly cleared and this is the only reaction I've heard of. Lupron
usage is relatively recent, so we don't know what the long term
effects are.

Keep in mind that Lupron is not a cure. It simply works to eliminate
the symptoms while the adrenal tumor most likely still grows. Surgery
is still the best option, if the ferret is a good surgical candidate.

As for Lupron dosage... I believe Dr. Weiss recommends 500mcg of the
one month depot or 2000mcg of the four-month depot. I have had
excellent results with as little as 150mcg of the one month depot in
a 1.3kg ferret.