Message Number: FHL12406 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2010-10-29 17:40:52 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Time for a Golden Oldie again
To: fhl <>, Ferret Mailing List <ferret-l@LISTSERV.FERRETMAILINGLIST.ORG>

Part 1 of 3
This is from 2005 so some URLs will have changed! If I have time I
will put in the new ones. (Think I got them all fixed.)
Also, spacing is lost when I copy this so will be re-spacing and that
may change.

I actually have not had to run this info for over a year which means
that many people have probably learned this, but some are appearing
again who don't know these important things, including that most
adrenal growths are not malignancies but still need to be tackled.
from Dr. Bruce Williams which reads in part:
>Actually tonight I am working on a promised article to Ferrets Mag
about adrenal disease. But >I think that Melissa and Sukie have
covered the dire possibilities very well (and they are very real.)
>However, even under the best conditions, when there is no malignancy,
>there is no bone marrow toxicosis, there is no prostatic cystic
>disease - even the most mild prediction is a sad one. Ferrets with
>adrenal disease have a diminished quality of life - they have
>progressive muscle loss, low grade anemia, they tend to redistribute
>weight to the abdomen, further making it difficult to walk, they have
>an increased incidence of gastric ulcers as a result of the stress of
>chronic illness, decreased bone density - none life-threatening, but
>all life-compromising. Even medical treatment, which is not my
>preferred way of treating adrenal disease, gives slight relief to
>symptoms. Doing nothing is not kind and not in a ferret's best

(Since then careful and controlled testing has shown Lupron Depot,
Suprelorin, and to a lesser extent also melatonin to be more useful
than previously thought for actual proven adrenal growths though
surgery is still the most effective approach for most ferrets. The
meds offer an option when surgery can not be done. Two excellent
places to learn more about them: and (esp. posts from AFERRETVET).)

BTW, there are two every interesting new articles on melatonin use in
ferrets in the latest JEMM&S 9 (that would have been in 2005 so
hardly the latest
any longer ) so if your vet gets that see if you can
arrange to pay for photocopies. It may be that for some small ferrets
(under 600 grams) the current implant dosage would be too high, and
there are further possible refinements for this approach. (There
is still
debate on if that one ferret in study had a problem instead
from one of
the anesthesia types used so have your vet check for you.)

Subject: from FHL: If you worry "CANCER" here is a Golden Oldie which
eases many people's minds

Please, note up-front that even though most adrenal tumors are benign
that removal is still normally advised for both quality and quantity of
life except for those ferrets who are not surgical candidates due to
factors including dangerous complications. (If surgery isn't possible
Lupron and other meds are advised: See info from Dr. Jerry Murray on
that.) You will also want to see past info written by Dr. Bruce Williams
on how prompt surgery for insulinoma (when cases give early warning) can
be curative is about 60% of cases.
and the references in

Most adrenal growths are benign neoplasia and some others tend to not
spread readily to distant sites in the body though some types can do
so; insulinomae also tend to not spread, though at times they do.
There is yet more on that aspect and on why blood tests do not diagnose
lymphoma/lymphosarcoma at

Many actual health professionals avoid the words "cancer" or "tumor"
because they are so often misused and misunderstood.
[Posted in FML issue 4930]


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