Message Number: FHL14546 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2012-01-13 17:09:51 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Coat type concern - coarser hair but thinner - shelter ferret

In a situation like that my first inclination would be to either see if a Lupron DEPOT or a deslorelin IMPLANT clears it up, OR to first do a Tennessee Panel. Adrenal disease IS a possibility for your ferret, but it is not the only possibility. I think that allergies have to be considered for this ferret, and also see the skin links added near the bottom of this post. Is there blistering?

Our Hilbert used to have seasonal skin allergies (which we were actually finally able to trace down to swamp plantain pollen) but he also got terrible sores with it and they would get infected some of the times and need antibiotics. Each year when it happened to be safest for him we would also have a TN Panel run, and in the really bad years also skin biopsies, but again, he'd get terrible sores from his allergy despite the hepafilters here. The reason we did that to be safest was because males can have life threatening urinary blockages with untreated adrenal disease, and either gender can have life threatening anemia with untreated adrenal disease, and adrenal disease has many ways that it undermines quality of life.

> 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 releif to symptoms. Doing nothing is not kind and not in a ferret's best interest.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce Williams, DVM

Being through in my notes here: Hilbert had had both adrenals removed prophylactically when he was a kit during the same time that urinary tract malformations were corrected (and he also had a genetic problem leading to a special reduced protein diet for cystine uroliths) but a tiny bit of one was caught then in a vascular clamp when he began bleeding too much. When he was well into his 7th year if memory serves it turned out that there was a bit of adrenal under that clamp which caused adrenal disease and he also finally got insulinoma when truly elderly, so for the adrenal he was on replacement meds (fludrocort and prednisolone) from kithood to prevent Addisons Crises, and from late 7 till just a teeny touch shy of 8 years or just a touch past it (not bad for a ferret who would have died as kit and had compromised kidneys lifelong) he needed both adrenal treatment AND treatment to avoid Addisons because he never did make the corticosteroids even though he did produce the hormones then. I mention that because it always makes sense to have a bit of Fludrocort and Prednisolone handy in case a ferret goes Addisonian; we had one -- a different ferret -- with an atrophied adrenal who did it with just one adrenal removed.

Some skin things just to be thorough:

Here are links to some past skin posts:

Cutaneous lymphoma (which CAN be treated more successfully
than other forms if it is just among the things for which testing
is done)

but note that it is blistering illness:

Mites/Mange (Sarcoptes or sarcoptic and Demodex for some search words)

Fungus or bacteria:

Another thing that a person might think is a bloody blister or sore that heals is benign dermal mast cell tumors which the ferrets scratch open.

On Jan 13, 2012, at 10:10 AM, katt_patt wrote:

> I have one male Marshalls brand sable 5yr in the rescue that I wonder if
> we could ever get a more lush coat on. I wouldn't call it male pattern
> baldness as it is not spotty but it is thin ... Well over the past couple months he has a few battles with
> over-itching and getting small skin infections so Gentimicin clears that
> right up.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:

"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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