Message Number: FHL5399 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Leslie Cucino
Date: 2008-07-04 03:49:28 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Digest Number 1201

> {{ if you all could conduct research with ferrets in mind, what would
> be the main focus of your research? What do you consider as
> meaningful to
> the future of ferrets? }}

I would first study Adrenal Disease & Insulinoma (sp?).

In the few short 6 years that I've had ferrets, like everything else
in my life, I've jumped in with both feet and learned all that I
could. So far I've dealt with DIM, (which now has a new name) adrenal
disease several times, ulcers, a fatal blockage and insulinoma. I
have yet to deal with lymphoma or the other various diseases our
little ones get, but I'd like to make a few comments about adrenal

Of the 5-6 ferrets that I've had/have that have had it, my first
treatment has and always will be surgery. I know that this isn't
always an option financially for some and understand. At first just
the diseased gland would be taken, until I had a few repeat cases and
insulinoma secondary. I don't fool around any more. When I have a
ferret over 3 years old who develops tail as well as hind end or
shoulder hair loss, I make an appointment and in they go. No
sonogram, no Tennessee Panel. Each ferret I send in has the left
gland removed, the right severely de-bulked whether it looks diseased
or not, or visa versa, and the pancreas is gone over with a fine
tooth comb and nodules removed if evident. I have never had a ferret
who needed hormone replacement therapy. I do intensive recovery at
home, hand feeding if necessary for two weeks minimum, and have yet
to have a relapse. The ones with nodules in their pancreas are
usually put on a minimum dosage of Pediapred, and knock on wood, all
are well, extremely active and happy.

I don't think we can prevent adrenal disease, as much as we try; I
think it's caused almost 100% by the early altering. Insulinoma I
think CAN be controlled/prevented to a certain extent by diet. My
ferrets get no treats except Chew Weasels which I swear by, (because
they LOVE them, and only once a month); 8 in 1 dry kibble, the high
protein formula, and a home made gravy of an entire roasting chicken,
bones included, cooked and ground up in a meat grinder with 2 pints
of gizzards and 2 pints of chicken livers added. They thrive on this,
have the shiniest, silky coats, cleanest teeth and sweetest
disposition. I have 17 ferrets, 80% of which are 5 years or older,
and only one is on Pediapred to keep him stable from insulinoma.



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