Message Number: YG833 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-06 21:29:00 UTC
Subject: Re: mandibular LNs Digest Number 39

There is validity in much of what you say, but I have one reservation.

Your point about older ferrets putting down fat around the popliteals
is true, and I get lots of fat biopsies from that site. If I see fat,
I don't think I've ever seen lymphoma there. Usually if the ferrets
have lymphoma, the popliteals are hard as marbles.

The one thing that I would caution though is the tru-cut biopsy.
Occasionally, especially in the nodes of the head, there can be
reactive hyperplasia which is so severe that it is difficult to tell
from lymphoma. Because in older ferrets, some lymphomas are composed
of such mature and normal-appearing lymphocytes, having the entire
node is a must. Many a time I would have missed the neoplasm had I
not had the whole node, so that I could evaluate the loss of nodal
architecture by relatively bland lymphocytes.

My rules about diagnosing lymphomas - you only make them on lymph
node biopsies - not on blood smears or CBC, and only rarely on
aspirates. While you may make them on tru-cut biopsies, you can only
eliminate the diagnosis when you have a whole node to look at. I
can't reassure a worried owner until I have the whole node to review.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., toucanvet@a... wrote:
> I would have to disagree with the location for LN biopsy.
> I have seen many a mandibular or prescapular LN enlargement
> without enlargement in the popliteal LNs. It is possible that
> popliteals
> would not have tumor cells in it (staging cancer).
> I have also found it very difficult to biopsy those popliteal LNs.
For some
> reason
> ferrets love to put fat around the LNs And i find myself digging
around in
> the fat and causing lots of trauma. But i find that its easy to
get a true
> cut from swollen mandibular LN's.
> Just my opinion, I'm not a surgeon though.