Chapter 16 Diseases of the Endocrine System
Adrenal gland disease (hyperplasia, adenoma, or adenocarcinoma) is the most common endocrine problem in older ferrets. Clinical signs include a progressive, symmetric, pruritic alopecia that begins in the rump area and spreads cranially and ventrally (Fig. 16-1). The disease affects both male and female ferrets, with female ferrets being overrepresented. It is estimated that about 70% of female ferrets with adrenal disease will also exhibit vulvar enlargement, and that male ferrets may experience urinary blockage from cystic tissue in the region of the prostate. Surgical treatment is preferred but medical treatment is available, although the prognosis with medical treatment is unpredictable.
(From Quesenberry KE, Carpenter JW: Ferrets, rabbits, and rodents, ed 2, St Louis, 2004, Saunders, by permission.)