Message Number: SG101 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2002-07-04 21:43:04 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Right adrenalectomy with vena cava ligation
Message-Id: <>

Hi, Tiana,
> If anyone on the list has had a ferret undergo right adrenal resection
> with full ligation of the vena cava, I would really appreciate some
> input on your experiences with this surgery. I have a 6 year old boy
> who has previously had a left adrenal resection, but is now no longer
> responding to Lupron, and is suspect of having a right-sided
> adenocarcinoma. He is suffering terribly, so itchy he is tearing
> himself up, and I am trying to decide if I should attempt this surgery
> or let him cross the Bridge.

If you have a vet who has experience with this surgery then please let
him do it. Do not put your six year old down. I have had three ferrets
who have had this surgery done successfully. Two have done extremely
well. One, sadly, had metastatic tumors throughout her body within a
few months, which is an extremely rare outcome. Ryo-Ohki did improve
after the surgery, though, so I can't blame my vet or call the surgery a

Pertwee had his right adrenal removed (with the vena cava ligated) when
he was just a year and a half old. It was his second adrenal surgery,
and he just celebrated his fourth birthday. He is my most bouncy and
exuberant ferret. He does have to have maintenance dosages of florinef
and dexamethasone daily. He is that rare ferret who does not respond to
prednisone, hence the choice of the stronger dexamethasone. His dosage
was divided into two because his super high metabolism burns through
whatever we were giving him in less than 24 hours. Splitting the dosage
solved that problem. He does have an unrelated problem (pancreatitis,
we believe) which is being treated with Viokase-V in his food (chicken
gravy). All of the medications will be life long. At this point he is
happy and doing very well, and there is every reason to believe he will
have a normal lifespan.

Podo had a large right adrenal tumor which had invaded the vena cava.
He had the gland fully removed (obviously including vena cava ligation)
three months ago at the age of seven and a half. He recovered extremely
quickly. Podo now has insullinoma, unfortuantely diagnosed after
surgery and currently regulated with prednisone, but is currently
asymptomatic with medication. Podo will be eight soon and bounces
around like a young ferret. He loves to play and wrestle and shows no
ill effect from the surgery. He was his old self after a week. I
should point out that Podo still has his left adrenal gland. At his age
we don't know how long he has left, but he is strong and in very good
shape, so we are quite certain that we bought him significantly more
time with the surgery.

As always, it depends on the skill of your vet. If Podo is any example,
then six certainly isn't too old.

All the best,
Caity and the notorious nine