Message Number: FHL8786 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tony Clarke"
Date: 2009-04-29 01:48:47 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.
> 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.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.
It is a common misconception among some vets in the UK that
adrenal disease does not exist in our country. This may have
been true 20 or even 10 years ago. However we have gone through
the same cycle of breeding for 'improved' ferrets in color
variations etc, more ferrets being kept indoors in rooms lit
to conform to human lifestyles and earlier neutering. Now we
have adrenal disease albeit at a lower rate (for now).
We are lucky in that we still have some ferrets kept in the
'old fashioned' country way preserving good genetic lines and
we do not have commercial breeders neutering at ridiculous ages.
However I have an adrenal ferret, bred by a local breeder,
she is an albino, she is from traditional country hunting stock.
She has always had dark sleeping places, she is in a dark room
with sleeping box afer dusk, she was neutered just before I
judged she would start her first season and she is adrenal.
What other steps could I have taken. This situation always
brings to mind an old country saying about dogs 'always let
them have one litter of pups to ensure a healthy bitch'
In future if I have another female kit I think there are two alternatives.
1. Let her come into season then 'jill jab' followed by neuter.
2. Use suplorelin/deslorelin implant instead of surgical neutering.
Any advice really welcome.

Tony (not a vet), Sugar and Suki.
In memory of Sally and Sue.


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