Adrenal Disease - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Ferret Discussion Mischievous antics, missing items, and all else ferret.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 43
Posts: 3,463
     
Exclamation Adrenal Disease

What Is It?

Adrenal disease is most commonly hyperplasia or a benign tumor. It is not Cushing's Disease; adrenal disease in the ferret affects a different part of the adrenal gland than it affects in dogs (which do get Cushing's Disease). Thus, treatment for Cushing's Disease (that is, Lysodren or Mitotane) does not work in ferrets with adrenal disease.

In adrenal disease in the ferret, the adrenal gland produces a lot of sex hormones (in Cushing's Disease in the dog, the adrenal produces a lot of cortisol). It's this overproduction of sex hormones that causes the signs and symptoms we see in adrenal disease.

Sometimes a female ferret may have ovarian remnants: some small bit of ovarian tissue left over from spay surgery. This can produce symptoms similar to adrenal disease. However, if your ferret is more than two or three years old, the odds are that the problem is adrenal disease and not an ovarian remnant.

Sometimes adrenal tumors can be malignant, but this is not nearly as common as benign tumors. However, just because the tumor is benign doesn't mean you don't have to treat it. Adrenal disease is not merely a cosmetic condition. It needs to be treated.



What Are The Symptoms?

These are the "classic" signs of adrenal disease:
Hair Loss:
Lethargy:
Excessive Thirst:
Excessive Itching:
Swollen Vulva (females):
Sexual or Aggressive Behavior (usually males):
Difficulty Urinating:
Weight and Muscle Loss:
Skin Changes:


To read a more detailed and complete article please visit the source.

Last edited by fstybrat; 07-04-2004 at 09:02 AM.
fstybrat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 05:10 PM
Playful Pup
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 42
 
Diagnosing Adrenal Disease

Does anyone know if there's a definitive way of diagnosing this disease yet? Or what tests might be done? (Besides going straight to surgery)
kemasa is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 43
Posts: 3,463
     
I do believe adrenal disease is usually diagnosed through blood work. It elevates the white blood cell count. Also xrays? That is a very good question though! Now I HAVE to go find the answer.
fstybrat is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2004, 11:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
most ferret knowledgeable vets usually go on symptoms alone for diagnosis and/or an exploratory surgery. Or they can run a Tennessee panel on the ferret. It's a blood test, and it can be rather expensive. Not to mention that it is not always able to detect adrenal disease. Adrenal disease causes an influx of sex hormones (there are 3 that the TN panel looks for, I'll see if I can find the exact names...I think it's testosterone, estrogen, and estroidal). Sometimes the hormone levels are high, but not high enough for the TN panel to detect. Most vets and ferret owners feel the test isn't very reliable and that the $$ spent on the test would be best put aside for surgery...the panel can run anywhere around $150 or more.
Ultrasounds and x-rays are also pretty useless in detecting adrenal gland disease...they don't always pick everything up...the glands may be enlarged, but not large enough for the US or x-ray to detect.

Last edited by Nancy; 05-20-2004 at 11:04 PM.
Nancy is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 09:36 AM
Movin' Up in the Pack
 
CTChin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: connecticut
Posts: 654
    
One of my ferrets had this and both had insulinoma when they died I sure wish we could get a grip on these diseases in the U.S.

Brenda
Caretaker of 2 dobermans,, 1 schnauzer, 5 cats, 3 goats, 1 parrot, 1 bearded dragon lizard, 11 chinchillas.
Rest in peace, Cricket, Casey, Bella, Yank, Chloe and Bones.

Last edited by CTChin; 05-21-2004 at 09:38 AM.
CTChin is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 43
Posts: 3,463
     
THANK YOU SOO MUCH Nancy!! I wish you were her more often
I have learned a ton from you & really appreciate you sharing your knowledge!
fstybrat is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-23-2004, 12:38 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
aww, you're very sweet, thank you fsty
Nancy is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-03-2004, 11:38 AM
Playful Pup
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 42
 
Sooo....

I took my ferret Ozzie to the vet yesterday for possible adrenal gland disease. He's approx. 5.5 years (I'm not quite sure because I adopted him when he was about 2-or so the lady said), and has been losing his hair for quite some time. I went to this vet because a friend of a friend recommended him as one of the best in the area (although it turns out this friend works for him, so maybe she's a little biased). I've went to him before for this problem in December, and basically he told me to wait and see. At that time Ozzie's hair was starting to grow back. Now he still has hair loss around the base of his tail (it's very smooth there), and up his back there's definitely thinning, and his hair feels wiry, not soft. The vet, again, pretty much told me to not worry about it, and to check back in a 4-6 mo to see if he gets progressively worse. While it was a relief to have someone tell me not to worry, I feel like there must be something causing his hair loss-and shouldn't we find out what it is? The vet suggested an allergy of some sort, although he couldn't think of any allergen that was out in both the winter and summer months. He examined Ozzie, and didn't find anything, but from what I've heard of this disease you can't really tell from an exam or testing anyway. I'm just wondering if you guys have any suggestions on what the vet should have / could have done, or if he's an honest vet who doesn't suggest expensive and unhelpful testing procedures. Is it really sound advice to just wait and see if he get progressively worse? (He said Ozzie really wasn't too bad off- although I still get worried that his backside gets cold without the other ferrets keeping him warm!).
Thanks
kemasa is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-03-2004, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 43
Posts: 3,463
     
Kemasa... my honest opinion... get a 2nd opinion... find a different vet! I have a link in my computer at home that may help you locate one in your area. at roughly 6 years of age a ferret is considered elderly. waiting 4-5 months as that vet said could be fatal for him. By the sounds of it quite honestly it does sound like adrenal and there is surgury that could save him. I will get back to you this evening with that link, but I would strongly suggest at least calling a second (or even 3rd) vet.

I wish you the best of luck give that little guy cuddles for me!!
fstybrat is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 01:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kemasa
The vet suggested an allergy of some sort, although he couldn't think of any allergen that was out in both the winter and summer months.
*sigh* When vets suggest a balding ferret has allergies, it usually means they aren't ferret knowledgeable, have no clue what they're looking at or how to treat it. I'd find another vet.......the adrenal issue may not kill him but the prostate condition that goes along with it can......
Nancy is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 12:16 PM
Playful Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Campbellton, NB
Age: 36
Posts: 42
 
yes but you got to remember that as ferrets get older theyir hair thins and sometimes not all of it grows back in when they are done shedding,,,just a thought

but yes i would also agree to get a 2nd opinion
Brandy is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-09-2004, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
Obsessed With Turtles
 
fstybrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Land of Procrastination (MN)
Age: 43
Posts: 3,463
     
Brandy you're right as they get older *sometimes* their hair does thin... BUT it doesn't/shouldn't ever thin so much that they become bald. That generally only happens when adrenal disease is present.
fstybrat is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2004, 01:42 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
Thought I'd add a few pics of my adrenal girl, Chase, for reference purposes....
This is what she looked like when we adopted her in February of this year from a terrible shelter in NE:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Chase2 1 14 04 7.jpg (37.5 KB, 18 views)
Nancy is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2004, 01:45 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
swollen vulva which is a typical symptom of adrenal disease in females...her nosey brother Mocha wanting in on the pic lol
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Chase2 1 14 04 1.jpg (37.9 KB, 13 views)
Nancy is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2004, 01:52 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 559
 
she had adrenal surgery at the end of February....it was a tricky right, and unfortunately turned out to be malignant Adrenal tumors are usually benign....Her fur grew back in as little as 3 weeks. Very unusual, as it usually takes much longer...at least several months. This is what she looks like now...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg chase9704sm.jpg (44.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg chase704sm.jpg (44.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg chase13704sm.jpg (47.4 KB, 10 views)
Nancy is offline  
Reply

Tags
adrenal disease, doing fine, hair loss


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome