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FERRET-SEARCH  January 2002

FERRET-SEARCH January 2002

Subject:

BW, JM, RH FHL cross-posts, digests 553 & 554: assorted adrenal (& not) notes from 3 separate members' different symptom sets

From:

Sukie Crandall <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 15 Jan 2002 23:31:32 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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>My 6 year old neutered sable male is showing signs of a possible
>bladder infection.   Straining a lot while he is going potty.   He
>has been doing this for about 2 weeks now.  Also, he holds his urine
>and when he does go it's a lot more then normal.  He holds his poops
>too and goes a lot when he does go...
>Vet took urine from him internally.  They got the urine sample back and
>all was normal, a little bit of red blood cells but not very many.
>Waiting on the culture to come back, hopefully today...
 
You may wish to look closely for signs of adrenal disease in this little
guy - hair loss, behavioral changes, aggression, etc.
 
A common cause of dysuria in male ferrets is adrenal disease - the
liberation of estrogens cause swelling of the prostate, which impedes
urine flow.  It first manifests as straining, and later becomes total
blockage, with is life-threatening.
 
In these cases, ultrasound is a good diagnostic test, if the vet knows
where to look for the prostate.  In normal males, it is not easily found -
in ferrets with cystic prostatic disease, it shows up fairly readily.
 
It will also show bladder stones fairly well also.  It would be my
preference, if available, over an X-ray.
 
Difficulty urinating can be life-threatening, and warrants a complete
workup.
 
With kindest regards,
Bruce Williams, DVM
 
 ---
to the same question:
 
It could be a simple bladder infection, BUT it sounds more like he is
actually having a prostate problem secondary to adrenal gland disease.
Does he show any signs of adrenal gland disease (hair loss, itchy skin,
aggression, return of sexual behavior, increased body odor, increased
oily feel to the fur, etc.)?
 
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM
 
         -------
 
>I get the impression from Dr. Bruce William's writings on FerretCentral
>that he recommends surgery for ferrets that show any symptoms of adrenal
>disease (patterned hair loss, agression, and vulvar swelling).  Does this
>mean pre-op ultra-sounds and extra blood work is not necessary?
 
I almost never bother with ultrasounds for adrenal ferrets, or doing the
Tennessee Panel, if that's what you mean by "extra bloodwork".  If they're
showing clinical signs of adrenal disease, and are physically healthy
enough to withstand surgery, that's always my recommendation - especially
if I can palpate an enlarged gland, which I often can.  Now if I'm
concerned about the heart and we're doing an echo before surgery, we'll
take a quick peek at the adrenals.  Otherwise, it's straight to surgery.
 
Dr. Ruth
*****************************************
Save lives - spay or neuter your pet.
 
 ---
 
to the same question:
I've read a lot of his stuff too, and I think you're right on the mark.
 
Dr. Bruce Williams
 
 ---
 
Based on your interesting history I think your boy is "becoming a man."
Can a 8 month old get adrenal gland disease?  Yes, but it would be rare.
Can an intact male get adrenal gland disease?  Yes, but it would be very
rare.  Thus it would be extremely rare for a 8 month old, intact male to
have adrenal gland disease.  Does an intact male become more aggressive,
lose some hair, and increase his body odor when he "goes into heat"?
Yes, so it is more likely behavioral changes because he is intact and
starting to go into heat.  Remember adrenal gland signs result from the
overproduction of the sex hormones, but it sounds like yours is producing
sex hormones from his testes (not from his adrenal glands).
 
I am not sure if he ever had a liver infection.  A lot of things can
slightly increase the ALK Phos.  Time to neuter him, and it would be a
good thing to recheck his urine while he is sedated.
 
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM
[Posted in FML issue 3665]

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