Message Number: FHL6070 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2008-09-21 16:53:27 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Swelling (edema) in ferret's thighs!

We encountered a combination of fur loss (but later necropsy with pathology showed
there was not adrenal disease), peripheral edema, unexplained weight loss, and lethargy
in a ferret who was finally diagnosed with hyperTROPHIC cardiomypathy -- the type that
can be impossible to spot without a heart ultrasound, rather than the more common
hyperplastic cardiomyopathy.

(Back then the remains of almost all of our ferrets were used to teach other vets and even
some vet techs (one of whom later became a vet) about ferret veterinary care so we
covered some costs and the vets covered others. Hence, always necropsies and loads of
pathology. That is how we know that one of the ones who lived very full lives and never
showed any adrenal symptoms had hidden adrenal disease herself, and how we know that
this particular ferret, 'Chopper the Ferret Helicopter, got the right diagnosis of no adrenal

What testing was done? The TN Adrenal Panel? If so that sometimes returns false
negatives if done very early in adrenal disease. The positives from the test are reliable.

Ultrasounds can be unreliable for adrenal disease. We have had two now (one more
recently) who appeared to have adrenal disease on ultrasound but who did not. I don't
know how unreliable the negative results are, but since some adrenal glands can be
diseased without being swollen I figure there must be false negatives, too.

--- In, "pyxiecup" <pyxiecup@...> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a ferret named Hopper which, about a year ago, lost most of his
> hair but was cleared for adrenal gland disease. I am still not too
> happy with the diagnosis as my gut tells me there is still something
> wrong. He has never had a change in appetite or behavior, but today I
> woke up and noticed some swelling, or water retention, in his thighs
> which will move towards his butt if I pick him up and hold him on his
> back. This is concerning me. Edema is a precurser to many worse things
> and I fear that he has not had a proper diagnosis. If anyone has seen
> this before please let me know!!
> Thanks
> Tania


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