Message Number: SG15291 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2005-09-02 23:00:29 UTC
Subject: UPDATE:Thinning/Hair loss and swollen vulva, blue skin
Message-ID: <>

One year has passed since I first wrote about Sweetie Pie. She started with coarse
hair, especially on back. Last Sept was the first notice of hair loss, starting on the
tail. Eight months have past but want to update for anyone who also may have
similar problem with young ferret:
>From January to May attempted to administer Melatonin in crushed pill form to no
avail. Part of problem is just giving the pill if uncrushed, spitting out, not getting all
dose in, etc.
Hair loss continued and encompassed entire body with only small patches left.
Didn't feel that Sweetie Pie would survive surgery because of chronic weight loss but
was able to finally get her to eat a mixture of baby foods (turkey, veal, or lamb),
usually two in equal portions, equal portion of butter, and egg start (Costco egg
product). Not exactly the best duck soup, but I still thought she had an allergy to
chicken. Weight finally back up in the 800 gram area, so ready to explore other

Seen by vet that followed many in shelter previously. Lupron injection
recommended. First shot middle of July. Developed blue skin on paws, stomach,
and around eyes. Initial thought was that she had rubbed next to dark material. By
the second appointed shot, Sweetie was nicknamed "Smurfette" (blue female cartoon
character for those too young or old to remember the Saturday morning show)from
such a blue tint. Luckily I didn't try to bathe the color away as I had planned. VERY
SURPRISED to learn that the blue tint was actually the hair follicles darkening from
the initial production of dark brown hair. (Had not read about this change before so
this is one of the main purposes of this update). Hadn't seen any hair on her
stomach or extremities for so long that I didn't know this was normal. I had not felt
any hair stubble upt to this point so all of this was foreign to me. Her basic color
pattern is just lighter than the standard sable.
By the second injection in the middle of August also noted marked decrease in the
size of vulva, now .5 cm. down from more than 1.5 cm. before Lupron started only
one month before.
Now two and half weeks later, hair growth is significant, covering entire body, and
much softer to the touch. The hair on the tail is the slowest, but present. It appears
thicker, but anything looks better than complete hair loss. Her diet is improving,
now only feeding two baby foods in equal proportion, and encouraging kibble as
much as possible. Weight has stabalized at 700 grams +or- but she is acting much
more playful. She has started giving small kisses, so I guess she finally read the
ferret book that says that is typical of the breed. She is much calmer, not quite as
playful, but awake longer and spending more time exploring.

It is so WONDERFUL to finally, after one year, see such a change in this ferret. The
vet says that the initial surgery obviously did not get all of the adrenal disease (left
removed and right appeared normal). My family is happy with the one shot a month
in exchange for such a difference in behavior, feeding, and appearance.