From: "Meryl Faulkner"
Date: 2009-04-16 17:04:07 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: ferret with spinal problems
You might think about a spinal mass/lymphoma. Your vet would probably eventually be able to biopsy the dark area and see what's there. My Felicity - healthy for five years had something that sounds a little similar to your ferrets problem, except in her case first one hind leg seemed to be weak, and it was thought she perhaps injured herself. If you want to read the course of her particular problem its in the archives - messages 6371 and 6725 in particular. In Felicity's case the mass was a lymphoma (aka chordoma) that invaded her spine. On the tail they are called chordomas and can be removed, chordomas (tumors/cancers of the bone)can occur in the spinal cord itself and surgery was not feasible in Felicity's case.
Hopefully your ferret may have something else.
Felicity improved slightly with an initial Prednisone injection, but the veterinarian in retrospect said it slowed the growth temporarily and Felicity improved for a short time, then the growth - which was aggressive - returned. Eventually the Xray showed a dark mass which could be palpated in the area where her hind limbs joined her spine. Her hips actually developed bulgy lumps. Oral pred did not have any effect afterward. One thing I forgot to ask after Felicity was euthanized was if any chemotherapy is effective against cancers of the bone. I'm guessing since the tumor invades the bone and replaces it that there would be no improvement once the disease is advanced. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst is my motto with ferrets! And love them while you can.
Chordoma and Lymphoma are two different types of
growths, but either can affect that region as can some
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