Message Number: SG355 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Debbie Utter"
Date: 2002-07-17 22:50:29 UTC
Subject: Osteoma/osteosarcoma questions (and a post-adrenal surgery question)
To: <>
Message-ID: <005901c22de4$5b82fe20$bb3ceed8@dutter>

I have a 5yo ferret with an enlarged spleen and signs of adrenal disease. =
She has thinning hair at her back end and on her tail, and her spleen is hu=
ge (to the point that she looks uncomfortable), but those conditions will g=
o untreated because something else is going to do her in before those will.=
I discovered a lump on Phoebe's head in February - it's at the back of he=
r head, right next to her right covers the entire right half of he=
r head from the ear back, and extends down her neck. An xray determined th=
at it is attached to her skull, and was itself calcifying, turning into bon=
e. The tumor/mass is inoperable, and was diagnosed as an osteoma/osteosarc=
oma (depending on whether it's malignant or not, but it's not being checked=
). Based on how much it had grown from February to June, when this other v=
et saw her, we're guessing Phoebe has another 4-8 months before the tumor w=
ill be causing her too much pain/discomfort. The vet said it could probabl=
y double in size (at that time) and not bother her, but once it tripled, it=
would probably be time to put her down. As it gets bigger it might make i=
t difficult for her to raise her head, for example, to drink from the water=
bottle, so lowering the water bottle would help her. He said that eventua=
lly this tumor may reach her spinal cord; she may find it difficult to hold=
her head straight/level, things like that. As long as she seems in no dis=
comfort and is eating and playing, etc., she'll be okay, but the time will =
come when it will be time to put her asleep. =

I need to know what to expect from a tumor in this location. Someone poste=
d a few days ago about an osteosarcoma/carcinoma on the lower jaw, but the =
signs of an advanced bone tumor of the jaw would be different than that on =
the skull, I would think. I need to know what to expect, and how to tell i=
f she is in pain. She does rest/sleep a lot more, but I don't know if that=
's because of the tumor, or her large belly from the spleen/adrenal problem=
s. I don't want to put her down before it's time, but neither do I want to=
prolong the inevitable when she has become too uncomfortable or no longer =
enjoying life.

Also, what can I do about her cagemate, who seems persistent on picking on =
her. It seems like she knows that tumor shouldn't be there, and she licks/=
bites at it...seems like she spends a lot of time touching her there. I do=
n't think it hurts Phoebe to touch the tumor - is a tumor like this painful=
and i should avoid touching her there?

I have had a rough few months...first I lost Brae (4 yrs old) in November t=
o megaesophagus (preceded by splenomegaly), then I lost Klondike (15 mos yo=
ung) to hepatic lymphosarcoma. Now Phoebe. I have two others, and only Sa=
lly is perfectly healthy, that I know of (knock on wood!). Templeton had a=
drenal surgery five weeks ago (also had his spleen removed at the same time=
because it had a mass or tumor growing out of it). He's showing no signs =
of getting his hair back, but it's probably too soon. His left adrenal was=
completely removed, and probably half to two-thirds of his right adrenal (=
only the pieces showing on either side of the vena cava were removed)...wil=
l he need to be on any kind of medication?

Thank you for your help.

End of ferrethealth Digest