Message Number: YG11580 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn Martin
Date: 2002-02-28 10:29:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Cystic Kidney

Hi, Carol,

I am not a vet, but I've dealt with the issue you are dealing with, and
I can share my experience. When I am generalizing, I am repeating what
I learned from my vet, other vets who were consulted, and from others
whom I consider knowledgable.

Pertwee has an ultrasound that showed a single renal cyst when he was
about a year and a half old. Renal cysts are usually not clinical,
meaning there are no symptoms and they cause no problems for the ferret.
Usually there would be no reason at all to remove a kidney. If there
are many cysts, then you are talking about polycystic disease.

Polycystic disease (multiple cysts in the kidneys) is almost always
bilateral in young ferrets and almost always fatal. Pertwee turned out
to be an exception.

After a second adrenal surgery Pertwee simply didn't recover. He lost
weight and was in obvious pain. He'd lie there, awake and miserable.
Instead of the usual "flat ferret" we all see he'd lie with his back
arched up high to protect his painful abdomen. He was tested for
everything under the sun, from ADV to liver function. He had another
ultrasound. Nothing helped, and we were in real danger of losing him.
Finally, my vet, is desperation, did one last exploratory surgery.

When he went in, my vet found the right kidney had turned into a
hardened little mass. He removed the kidney, and the pathology showed
polycystic disease. His other kidney is still fine, going on two years

The question I would ask is, was there one cyst or many? If there was
one, why did the vet feel it important to remove the kidney? If there
were many, I'd say you have another Pertwee, and he's still here and is,
by far, my most energetic and insane little weasel.

Good luck!

All the best,
Caity and the notorious nine