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Long-term outcome in ferrets with adrenectomy
Hyperadrenocorticsm is commonly seen in ferrets, and the surgical intervention is often difficult and risky as well as expensive. Before the owners permit the surgery, they want an exact prognosis. In this study, based on more 130 ferrets, the long-term survival rate and factors that affect survival time of 130 domestic ferrets treated surgically for hyperadrenocorticism was determined.

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Medical records of ferrets surgically treated for hyperadrenocorticism were reviewed.

Data recorded included signalment, duration of clinical signs prior to hospital admission, CBC values, serum biochemical analysis results, anesthetic time, surgical time, concurrent diseases, adrenal gland affected (right, left, or both [bilateral]), histopathologic diagnosis, surgical procedure, caudal vena caval involvement (yes or no), postoperative melena (yes or no), days in hospital after surgery, and whether clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism developed after surgery.

RESULTS: 130 ferrets were entered in the study (11 of 130 ferrets were admitted and underwent surgery twice).

The 1- and 2-year survival rates were 98% and 88%, respectively.

A 50% survival rate was never reached. Combined partial adrenal gland resection with cryosurgery had a significantly negative effect on survival time.

No other risk factors were identified. Survival time was not significantly affected by either histopathologic diagnosis or specific affected adrenal gland (right, left, or bilateral).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Ferrets with adrenal gland masses that were treated surgically had a good prognosis.

Survival time of ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism undergoing surgery was not affected by the histologic characteristic of the tumor, the adrenal glands affected (right, left, or bilateral), or complete versus partial adrenal gland resection.

Debulking was a sufficient surgical technique to allow a favorable long-term outcome when complete excision was not possible.


Source: Swiderski JK, Seim HB 3rd, MacPhail CM, Campbell TW, Johnston MS, Monnet E. (2008): Long-term outcome of domestic ferrets treated surgically for hyperadrenocorticism: 130 cases (1995-2004).In: J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008 May 1;232(9):1338-43.


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