Message Number: SG513 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 04:17:29 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] RE: Ferret with scabs over 90% of his body
> I am the one who posted about my friends ferret with the scabs on his body
> (I have invited them to join the group). The lab results came back saying it
> was lupus!
Dear Ferretlady Deb:
While I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was lupus (ferrets have yet to be truly diagnosed with lupus) our discussion centered around another autoimmune disease, pemphigus. I think I can speak with authority on lupus, as I have written book chapters on the subject, and I have seen a number of cases of autoimmune disease in ferrets, and the two are quite dissimilar.
However, what the autoimmune diseases share in common is the fact that for reasons we don't know, the body begins to produce antibodies against normal components. In pemphigus, it is against the proteins that hold the skin together, so it often just comes apart, and you get scab formation.
One of the main differences between lupus and pemphigus is that lupus is generally a systemic disease affecting many organs, including the kidneys and joints, and pemphigus is pretty much restricted to the skin and mucus membranes.
With kindest regards,
bruce williams, dVM
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