Message Number: FHL10489 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Jenna B - YAHOO"
Date: 2009-12-16 05:34:15 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Perplexing skin condition - vets & I need HELP w/ diagnosis & treatment!!!

My Charlie is a 7 yr. old ferret who developed a perplexing skin "condition=
" in August of this year and so far no treatment (including 11 different me=
ds!) has cured it. I've consulted with 3 very ferret-knowledgeable exotic v=
eterinarians (2 who practice together) here in the Seattle area and none of=
them can figure out what's going on so I'm reaching out for HELP! PLEASE, =
PLEASE read the following notes and feel free to pass along to any vet and/=
or provide ANY insight, thoughts, opinions you have as I am open to ANYTHIN=
G at this point. To date, I have paid $1,297.75 in office visits, meds, tes=
ts and still I have no answers. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!! Ba=
sed on tests done to date, lymphoma (cutaenous, epitheliotrophic), cheiliti=
s, "rodent ulcer", pemphigus, and autoimmune diseases have all been ruled o=
ut and causative agent has still not been found.

PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN! Email me directly at:

Jennifer & Charlie (Seattle, WA)

Late 8/09 - Took Charlie to a local park where he walked around on the gras=
s and was petted by a few teenagers.

9/2/09 - Noticed the top of Charlie's paws were red, dry, cracked, swollen.=
Tissue around right eye was reddened and eye had clear, watery discharge (=
conjunctivitis). Mouth/chin area reddened. Lesions that looked like(in my o=
pinion) mast cell tumors noticed on lower back. Splotchy red rash on lower =
belly/prepuce/inner thighs.

9/8/09 - Noticed that paw pads now had a "crusty" fungus/wart-like appearan=
ce on them that extended up front & back legs. Nose/chin area redness now a=
ccompanied by brown scabbing.

9/10/09 - Vet (#1) prescribed prednisolone & cefa drops combination as well=
as "cleanse face w/ cetaphil, soak feet in domeboro solution"=20

10/2 - Followed instructions but after 30 days, no improvement (condition a=
ctually getting worse after temporary improvement). So skin biopsy done on =
face, right paw, and lower belly areas. While awaiting test results, Tx inc=
ludes: Children's benadryl (for itching), Healx Soother (topical for rash),=
pepcid (for teeth grinding), vitamins A & C (immune boosting), continue pr=

RULED OUT: Cutaneous t-cell lymphoma, stratight bacterial or fungal infecti=
on, contact dermatitis, allergies.
POSSIBLE: Cheilitis, "rodent ulcer", pemphigus, or autoimmune disease

10/12/09 - Results indicated deep pyoderma. Stains requested to identify ca=
usative agent. Doxycycline (anti-biotic to treat deep pyoderma) added to pr=
ed (anti-inflammatory) and home care Tx.

10/14/09 =96 Nystatin prescribed for rash/possible secondary condition (yea=
st infection?)

11/5/09 - Mild improvement. Carafate added b/c of teeth grinding.

11/21/09 - Condition getting worse again so consulted new exotic vet (#2). =
Did aerobic culture /sensitivity test and while waiting for results prescri=
bed hydroxyzine (antihistamine for rash & itching), clavamox (antibiotic fo=
r deep pyoderma), hexedine shampoo baths.

11/28/09 - Still no improvement in Charlie's overall condition so (vet #2) =
additionally prescribed fluconazole to treat the Staph (yeast) infection th=
at culture showed was present (stopped doxycycline). Charlie has been sneez=
ing regularly (2-3 short 'episodes' almost daily) but hydroxyzine doesn't s=
eem to be helping with this.

12/2/09 - Vet #1 contacted me w/ stains results from original biopsy. Did n=
ot reveal fungus or bacteria. Suggested starting an immunomodulator (althou=
gh inflammation doesn't look like neoplasia, ISA, or autoimmune).

12/4/09 - Vet #2 stopped nystatin, doxycycline, clavamox, benadryl, prednis=
olone. Prescribed Ivermectin (to treat possible deep mite infestation =96 c=
ause of pyoderma?), metacam (for pain), added cehpadroxil (to treat respira=
tory infection & pyoderma), continuing fluconazole, hydroxyzine.

12/15/09 =96 Back to vet #2 because condition not improving. Rash on lower =
belly getting worse, black/blue coloring on back paws more pronounced, "mas=
t cell-looking" tumors appearing around neck, under front leg (armpit area)=
, rectum red and a bit swollen. Prescribes cimetidine (to cure GI problems =
possibly present). Continue fluconazole(1x/day), hydroxyzine(2x/day), cehpa=
droxil(2x/day), ivermectin(1x/week), metacam(1x/day).

12/15/09 =96 Urinalysis & sedimentation test done (results normal), liver p=
rofile test (pretty much normal but GGT is a bit high at 18), CBC/Serum pan=
el =3D rbc(8.3), wbc(7.68), hgb(14.2), plt(700), hgb(14.2), hct(38.7). Ones=
of concern are: MON(.84), GRA(5.83), LY%(13.1), MO%(11.0), GR%(75.9), MCH(=
17.1), MCHC(36.6). Bun(18), creat(0.7), glucse 82, lym(1.01), all other lev=
els fine.

12/15/09 =96 Awaiting re-evaluation of all lab work & tests by vet #2.

[In case it proves useful

has links to info on several of the ferret skin problems
covered in the easily used separate FHL Archives

BUT it sounds like the vets might have already ruled all
of these out and not all would fit the description. Sorry
about no further ideas at this point.

Is the dark coloration melanin? If so, then conditions that
can cause an increase in melanin in areas previously low
in it could be looked up.]



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