Message Number: SG7318 | New FHL Archives Search
From: sukie crandall
Date: 2004-01-07 16:48:18 UTC
Subject: mast cell tumors
Message-id: <>

I greatly value these past posts from ferret specialist veterinary
pathologist, Dr. Bruce Williams on mast cell tumors:
> Mast cell tumors are not malignant in ferrets. I would strongly
> suggest a
> fourth option - nothing at all. Ferret owners are very familiar with
> mast
> cell tumors - they are the second most common skin tumors in ferrets,
> and
> pose no long-term threat.
> Unfortunately, surgery is the only way to really "control" it.
> However there are a couple of points to make -
> 1. These are benign neoplasms which in a pinch, can be left
> untouched. I don't recommend it, but in cases of cardiomyopathy,
> even the stress of a local anesthetic may be enough to cause him to
> decompensate.
> 2. You can try a steroid/antibiotic cream in case some of the size
> is due to inflammation - it may decrease the size and irritation a
> little, but it's nowhere close to surgery in terms of benefit.
> 3. Ferret mast cell tumors do not have the histamine that dog
> neoplasms do. This is perhaps why we do not see the systemic
> problems in ferrets, like duodenal ulcers in ferrets with mast cells
> tumors as we see in dogs. While no one has done any work in ferrets
> with histamine blockers, I strongly doubt that they would have any
> effect here.

>Well, I'm sure that the other vets have thoughts too, but I'll go for
>this one. Mast cell tumors are almost always benign - in fact I've
>only seen one malignant one, and there is only one reported in the
>literature (one and the same.)