Date: 2002-12-14 19:54:46 UTC
Subject: RE: Adrenal Disease
> I have a very serious problem. My ferret, Mercury,
> has adrenal disease. I have not taken her to the vet
> yet, but I know she has it because she is losing the
> fur on the base of her tail.
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with Simon. Here in the U.S., hair loss that begins on the rump, across the shoulders or down the back, etc., is almost always, without fail, the result of adrenal disease. I'm sure there are those out there that have had a ferret with hair loss like that and treated for something else and the hair came back, but in the vast majority of cases in America, it's adrenal disease. It's definitely much less common in the U.K.
> What are her chances of surviving the surgery?
Excellent if done by a competent surgeon familiar with ferrets.
> How long will she live after the surgery?
There's no reason why Mercury couldn't live out a normal lifespan.
> Will she loose all of her fur?
If left untreated, most likely. She may retain a few tufts of hair on her head, legs, etc.
> How costly is the surgery?
That varies quite a bit depending on many factors. I've heard as low as $150 and as high as $1200. I'd figure around $400 on average.
> Will she need a special diet, or anything else
She may need hand feeding for a very short time after surgery, but other than that, no special diet is needed. Complete removal of both glands may require replacement hormone therapy.
> I am so worried and scared for her. She is only
> three years old. I am so very sad. :(
We understand. It's frustrating that it's such a common problem. Of course we don't want them to have any problems at all, but of all the major problems that they can encounter, this one is probably the most managable and stands the best chance of a complete cure.