Diseases of the Integumentary System

Chapter 19 Diseases of the Integumentary System


The normal hair coat of the ferret contains a thick, cream-colored undercoat with coarse guard hairs that determine the coat color. Numerous sebaceous glands give the coat a greasy feeling and produce a musky odor. Thinning of the coat occurs twice yearly in relation to photoperiods—increasing when daylight hours and temperature increase. Hair removed during the seasonal thinning periods may not regrow for several months.

The most common diseases affecting the skin include adrenal disease, parasites, and occasionally neoplasia. Endocrine alopecia has been covered in Chapter 16.


It has been estimated that about 25% of all problems seen in mice involve the integumentary system. These problems result from behavioral problems, poor husbandry, bacterial infections, and parasite infections. Mice live a highly structured social life. The dominant mouse “barbers” others in the group, chewing off whiskers and facial hair. Fighting wounds are also common when male mice are kept together. Mice can also get abrasions from rubbing against the cage and objects in the cage. Fur mites are seen in mice and result in overall thinning of the hair and pruritus. Lesions can become infected and ulcerated. Mice are also prone to skin tumors (especially mammary gland adenocarcinomas and fibrosarcomas) or abscesses due to Staphylococcus, Pasteurella, and Streptococcus bacteria.

Aug 31, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL | Comments Off on Diseases of the Integumentary System
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