Message Number: SG2664 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2002-12-20 20:40:34 UTC
Subject: Fancy lines
Message-Id: <>

On Fri, 20 Dec 2002 12:07:10 -0500
Sukie Crandall <> wrote:
> Personally the only early adrenal we've had here was one fancy and
> she was 3 years old. We try to avoid having fancies to a large
> extent (having mostly -- but not totally -- standard markings ones
> and albinos). That is because we've heard good things about some
> fancy lines in terms of health and longevity but we have encountered
> and heard some bad things about other types of fancies in terms of
> health and longevity. (Note that none of this may mean anything
> since there simply are NOT numbers to know what is what: The so-so
> things we've heard have been about dark-eyed whites. The good things
> we've heard were about marked whites of one line but the person never
> sent a follow-up. The worst things we've experienced or have heard
> of have to a large extent involved blazes, pandas, spotted, or
> patch-work ones,

Interesting discussion. The last four ferrets we took in and kept were
either rescues or, in Romana's case, a ferret who would have been dead
by Monday if we didn't take her out of the pet store. So... we simply
didn't care about markings and color.

I'm aware of Waardenberg Syndrome in blaze and dark-eyed white ferrets.
I'd really like to know what else you have encountered and/or are aware
of. I have also read arguments on various lists about whether or not
albino ferrets have a shorter average lifespan, which I've seen no hard
evidence of.

My anecdotal experience is that our DEW has been totally healthy, but he
started in life as a very light silver and turned white fairly quickly.
Our blaze and our patchwork ferrets both developed insulinoma young (age
three and a half to four) but are doing brilliantly for the time being.
Our youngest adrenal cases (age one and one and a half, respectively)
were in an albino and the patchwork boy. The albino (Pertwee) and dark
silver (Ryo-Ohki) have, by far, been the most medically challenged, with
Ryo dying at age three and a half. I realize there are a ton of other
factors besides color, but our experience is also that sable/standard
ferrets seem to be healthiest.

> One thing, though -- unless they simply were missed in diagnosis --
> early adrenal growths are a rather recent phenomenon here in the U.S.
> and our noticing mention of them post-dates early neuters, kibble,
> food always available, water bottles, litter, and many other factors.
> Does that mean anything? Danged if I know.

I always wonder what, if anything, I can change really makes a
difference. Our vet is convinced that the biggest factors working
against our ferrets are a small gene pool among the U.S. breeders and
early neutering, neither of which I can readily change.

All the best,
Caity and the non-stop nine