Unilateral adrenalectomy as a treatment for adrenocortical tumors in ferrets: Five cases (1990-1992)

Howard J. Lawrence From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Lawrence, Gould, Flanders, Yeager) and Pathology (Rowland), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Willard J. Gould From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Lawrence, Gould, Flanders, Yeager) and Pathology (Rowland), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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James A. Flanders From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Lawrence, Gould, Flanders, Yeager) and Pathology (Rowland), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Peter H. Rowland From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Lawrence, Gould, Flanders, Yeager) and Pathology (Rowland), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Amy E. Yeager From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (Lawrence, Gould, Flanders, Yeager) and Pathology (Rowland), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Summary

Adrenocortical tumors were diagnosed in 5 adult spayed ferrets. Four ferrets had bilaterally symmetrical alopecia of the caudal femoral region, abdomen, and tail, and 1 had alopecia of the distal limbs and feet. All 5 ferrets had vulvar swelling. During abdominal ultrasonography, irregular masses, believed to involve the adrenal glands, were seen in all 5 ferrets. Unilateral adrenalectomy was performed successfully in each ferret by use of ventral midline celiotomy. On histologic examination of biopsy samples, 4 ferrets were found to have adrenocortical adenomas, and 1 ferret was found to have an adrenocortical adenocarcinoma. All clinical signs resolved after adrenalectomy, suggesting that the adrenocortical tumors had been secreting adrenocortical hormones.

Summary

Adrenocortical tumors were diagnosed in 5 adult spayed ferrets. Four ferrets had bilaterally symmetrical alopecia of the caudal femoral region, abdomen, and tail, and 1 had alopecia of the distal limbs and feet. All 5 ferrets had vulvar swelling. During abdominal ultrasonography, irregular masses, believed to involve the adrenal glands, were seen in all 5 ferrets. Unilateral adrenalectomy was performed successfully in each ferret by use of ventral midline celiotomy. On histologic examination of biopsy samples, 4 ferrets were found to have adrenocortical adenomas, and 1 ferret was found to have an adrenocortical adenocarcinoma. All clinical signs resolved after adrenalectomy, suggesting that the adrenocortical tumors had been secreting adrenocortical hormones.

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