Message Number: YG10791 | New FHL Archives Search
From: dr_bruce_williams
Date: 2002-02-05 16:48:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Does my vet know about ferrets

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Hettinger Jennifer <jchprocess@y...>
> I have a vet I have been taking my 5 ferrets to for the last two
years I thought until recently he was quite good with ferrets.
Recently I have become concerned he doesn't really know that much
about ferrets, he says he sees a lot of ferrets, but I guess that
doesn't mean he knows a lot about them. Are there any questions I
can ask my vet that would let me know for sure if he knows what he is
doing? I don't want to find out to late that he is not doing what is
best for our babies. Here are my general reasons for concern. Iike I
said I have 5 ferrets three boys Bashor 3 Koda 3 1/2 Taz 4 1/2 and
two girls Yin 3 and Washu 4 1/2. Until recently we have been very
lucky no real illnesses of any kind. Washu had sympotms of adrenal
tumors our vet suggested we bring her in weekly to keep an eye on
her. we thought this was a great idea that way she would be having
unnessary surgery when Washu started to lose weight he advised we
have the surgery done so we did that after the surgery her symptoms
never went away and 2 mo later she had another surgery to remove the
other adrenal gland about two weeks after her surgery all her
symptoms were gone its now 7mo later and all her symptoms have
returned she smells bad, (not a normal smell for a ferret at all you
smell her when you open the door to our house) her vulva is swollen
and has a discharge (kinda yellowish)she is loosing weight again This
time the vet thought she may just have a bladder infection so we
tried antibotics for 3 weeks nothing changed so he thinks he should
go back in and take a look where her adrenal glands were. in the mean
time we started looking on the internet and found out some things
that gave us cause to be concerened we have read that if our vet had
removed both adrenal glands (like he said he did) that he should have
told us she needed hormone replacement drugs he never mentioned it.
we have also read things about a drug called Lupron I have given him
the info we found on it and he said he had never heard of it so he is
checking with some other vets he knows should we be concerned about
our vet or is he doing what is common?

Dear Jennifer -

#1 Punctuation, please! It really helps get through the posts.

#2. I don't think that this necessary means that your vet doesn't
know anything about ferrets, but if he hasn't heard of Lupron, he may
need a bit of freshening. I think that it is reasonable to believe
that if he had done both adrenals, he would not necessarily believe
that it was adrenal immediately on recurrence. Many vets often
suggest that a bladder infection is the cause of a vulvar discharge,
but I would generally opt out on adrenal as the cause until proven

You have a vet who can do a bilateral adrenalectomy, and that says
something (although I would surmise that there is still some adrenal
tissue left in there. Unless you have other ferret-knowlegeable vets
in the immediate area, I wouldn't give up so quickly on this on e-
just be insistent and polite.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM