From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2009-04-28 22:41:09 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: What should I do?
In the 28 years or so that we've had ferrets all but two were early neuters.
Most of that time were were able to provide areas of darkness (an old
ferret keepers' recipe to help with health). We did notice that those time
when we could not provide good areas of darkness (because of two health
problems I had myself) the rates of both adrenal disease and insulinoma
went up about 3 through 4 years later, especially adrenal. Now, providing
enough darkness causes the body to produce its own melatonin, and
if there is enough circulating melatonin then the LH and FSH production
by the pituitary stays lower, so to me it makes sense.
There really are studies on the use of melatonin and while it isn't the
strongest thing out there it does help in studies, but by itself it is pretty
weak -- better than nothing, of course -- while used in conjunction with
other things like Lupron it is a greater plus.
Our own rate in our ferret family for adrenal diseases of all types has
pretty consistently averaged out to around a third of them developing
some form. The other 2/3rds never have in life, and that includes
back when necropsies on ours were used to teach vet personnel so the
vast majority of ours have had necropsies and pathology.
Our own rate of any form of pancreatic disease (pancreatitis, insulinoma,
lymphoma in the pancreas, carcinoma in the pancreas) has been around
33% and 20% still say that these are common types of problems, but
certainly not inevitable since in our family at least most did not get them.
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