Message Number: SG7559 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2004-01-23 02:33:37 UTC
Subject: RE: Liver cancer?
Message-ID: <>

Dear Rhea:

While there is a likelihood of lymphoma here, is there a reason why the nod=
es in the neck weren't at least aspirated? I guess I'm a traditionalist - =
I don't generally start talking about how much time a ferret has left witho=
ut knowing exactly what type of neoplasm I am dealing with (or if I am real=
ly dealing with one. Personally, I don't like to write off a ferret withou=
t having a definitive diagnosis. =

With kindest regards,

bruce williams, dVM

Author wrote:
> My 4 year old female ferret has been diagnosed by our vet with probable l=
iver cancer. January 2003 I noticed that she had swollen nodes in her neck=
, so I took her to the vet. She had no other symptoms, weight & appetite we=
re good, so he wanted to watch her. There were no other nodes found to be s=
> Decemeber 5, just last month, she had an upper respiratory infection, so =
I took her to a vet that is much closer. I showed him the nodes, which were=
no larger than 11 months before, and he agreed that they should just be wa=
tched, and that he did not suspect lymphoma because she had had them so lon=
g. She responded well to the Amoxi drops that were prescribed.
> Last week I noticed that the nodes on her neck had increased in size, so =
we went back to the last vet for evaluation. Her weight had dropped from 80=
7 grams December 5 to 749 grams. This was January 21. No additional nodes w=
ere found to be swollen, but he did find a questionable lump/mass upon exam=
in her abdomen, so he did an ultrasound. It showed the liver quite enlarge=
d with a mass extending from it. He said that it was not well defined, so t=
hat it would be difficult to actually remove a lobe where the large mass is=
. Also, there were 2-4 other smaller masses beside the liver which may or m=
ay not be lymph nodes that are cancerous. The spleen looked normal. He says=
that she does not have many options, although we could do blood work to se=
e if she is a candidate for surgery. Should we opt to not do surgery, we ca=
n just keep her comfortable. He gave her a shot of dexamethasone and Amoxi =
drops. Her temp was 103.2, I think, but he wanted to give the antibiotic in=
the event there is an infection. At this point, because of his saying how =
difficult the surgery would be and that it wouldn't buy her much time becau=
se she's an older ferret anyway, I have decided to just keep her comfortabl=
e. I would like an opinion from a veterinarian on the list should any read =
my post.
> Thanks,
> Rhea Fulmer
> =

> =