From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2009-04-29 00:48:22 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: What should I do?
> This leads to the question of a genetic factor. 20+ years ago adrenal disease was unheard of, or at least unknown. Obviously something has changed. Perhaps the genetics of our ferrets today are not quite the same as ferrets of 15-20 years ago.
I think Karen is right on this score, but I also think that
people may be able to reduce the risks. Back in those
years we did not have all the of the fancy appearances
people find in many ferrets today; None of splotchy ones,
or neural crest genetic variant ones, no angoras, no short
tails, none of strange sizes, in fact, pretty few fancies over
all. I do recall a different splotchy type but they were all
neutered when it was found that they were prone to having
defective aortas. Beautiful ferrets who looks and seemed
really robust and then one day their aorta would just
give out and suddenly, no more ferret... They were prone
to being strongly mismatched in facial coloration and that
does often accompany problems with the aorta in other
species. We have some with fancy genetics and they are
wonderful ferrets but we do realize they may be extra
vulnerable to some medical risks.
Early on there were very few with adrenal disease discussed
on line. Later the proportion seemed to increase. Then after
that the ages for adrenal problems lowered. At the same time
fancies became the rage rather than the standards and albinos
of before, and there was at least one common household
change: equipment lights.
Genetic factors are under study at U.C. Davis in a study headed
by Dr. Michelle Hawkins. That is the one that Bob Church
collected some of the DNA for. Another study has happened
in Pitt and was headed by Dr. Bob Wagner. There is more on
those in past FHLs. (Aren't the archives great?)
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