Message Number: SG16408 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2006-01-28 00:56:09 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Fatty tumor (Lipoma)

Shadow is at least 7 years old and has been healthy all his life. He is a rescue found in North Carolina who came to me in May 1999 and is not an MF ferret - no tattoos of any kind.

For about 18 months I have been concerned that something was not quite right with Shadow's abdomen. He was examined by at least 6 vets (two or more that are on this list) who told me that they thought he was just getting fat. In October we saw vet #7, who agreed that there was something *not quite right.*

Due to the distance I need to travel to this vet and the holidays, an ultrasound in mid-December by a closer vet showed an abdominal mass. The borders are well-defined and the density suggests - you got it - FAT! (I didn't watch the ultrasound, but the stills are very clear.) The US also showed that the intestinal wall was not thickened and both adrenals were visualized but did not seem to be enlarged to involve any surrounding tissue.

Shadow's blood glucose runs about 72, which led to a diagnosis of insulinoma.. He had an elevated lipase in October, which led the vet to diagnose IBD. We started 0.5 mg pred BID and I moved him to a low-carb food added to the current mix. Needless to say, he hates all these changes.

He now seems to experience some discomfort and is less active than previously. He has never been a vocal ferret - extremely NONvocal - but is now volunteering an occasional groan. His abdomen is still growing and we are doing a monthly weight check.

My local vet - not the one I have to travel to - said he has never seen a lipoma in a ferret. He said he has seen it in a dog - and that one reported a carcinoma, but that most lipomas are benign. (My reply: it still is space-occupying.) I have not researched this, but will. I am interested in what you have to say about this and also wondering if anyone has experience with it. Oh, is it worth mentioning that when shaving his belly they found two cysts (benign) on his lower abdomen?

I have not posted the lab results or the report, but will certainly do so if there is any interest in this. I can also get the stills and scan them in or mail a copy to someone if you can help. Although I love all my critters, Shadow is my favorite ;-)! If I can do something, I really want to keep him healthy. Surgery is out of the picture unless there is no other option. If I can't keep him healthy, I want him to be comfortable.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
renee :) & Shadow

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