What are adrenal tumors in ferrets?

by amy brockman · 4 comments

Picture of cure white ferret.

One of the most common health problems seen in the domestic ferret is adrenal disease. The adrenal glands produce hormones essential to the life of the ferret.

Most adrenal tumors in ferrets involve the production of sex hormones in the adrenal glands. The signs of adrenal disease are related to the overproduction of either estrogen or testosterone.

Symptoms of Adrenal Disease in Ferrets

  • Adrenal disease in ferrets is normally easy to diagnose as the signs and symptoms are predictable. The most common symptoms include:
  • Hair loss.
  • Enlargement of the vaginal labia. (Seen in female ferrets as a result of too much estrogen production.)
  • Difficulty urinating. (Seen in male ferrets as a result of enlargement of the prostate gland due to high hormone levels.)

Adrenal disease left untreated can lead to death.

Treatment of Adrenal Disease

If the ferret diagnosed with adrenal disease is fairly young and in otherwise good health, surgery is normally recommended to remove the diseased gland(s). When surgery is not an option, treatment options include time-release melatonin implants injected under the skin every three to six months, a monthly Lupron injection, or a combination of the two.

Further Reading Recommendations

Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery (Ferrets, Rabbits & Rodents)
by Katherine Quesenberry DVM and James W. Carpenter MS DVM Dipl ACZM

Practical Techniques in Ferret Medicine
http://www.craftycreatures.com/forferretsonly/books_video/kemmerer.html

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Travon October 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm

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amy brockman October 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for the comment.

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amy brockman October 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the comment, Ugg. I use Dreamhost for web hosting. I’ve used them since 2003, way back when I did a lot with eBay and have been very satisfied with them. EDITED TO ADD: If you decide you would like to check them out, use code HF20 for $20 off. You should be able to get 2-3 months free hosting.

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