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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 550
Experience:  2003 Graduate
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Our darling ferret has adrenal disease and a tumor on his

Customer Question

Our darling ferret has adrenal disease and a tumor on his tail that continues to grow. The vet who saw him initially said she'd do the surgery for what appeared to be a fee within my reach. However, because of the adrenal problem, she said she's not comfortable treating him. He means very much to our family. A senior citizen with limited income and medical problems, I am trying to find a vet/clinic/hospital that will perform his surgery on a sliding scale fee/pro bono. Any suggestions?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the ferret's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** I think he's 5 or 6. I have difficulty recalling ages sometimes. Our daughter is asleep, and she'd know the exact age. I do recall his birthday is ***** January and he's a Marshall ferret.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Shadow?
Customer: Except for eating parts of a toy some years ago and having to be treated by the vet, he's been in good health. He's a non-biter and is very friendly.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Alice, I think it is unlikely that we will find what you're looking for as there are very few hospitals across the USA that do pro bono work or base their fees on a sliding scale. This is because, unlikely human medicine, there is little, if any, allocated money or grants to cover the expense of such a procedure. Therefore, the cost would come directly out of a clinic's overhead. However, we may still have some options to look into. Can you tell me your city and state?

Also, is the adrenal disease being addressed?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I live in Carson, VA, with Petersburg, VA, being the nearest city. The adrenal issue is not being addressed. If I recall correctly, the vet mentioned surgery for that, along with the tail tumor(s), and very expensive medication that is life-long.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

You may be in a situation where treatment must be chosen for one or the other first. Typically the most pressing, likely the adrenal disease in this case.

There is a useful link here on the treatment options available:

The surgical approach is considered the most useful and is often curative. If this ferret is otherwise in good condition and good health, there's no reason not to consider performing one surgery and then the other. You may need to travel some distance to find a vet who will be able, and willing, to help with both medical issues. Here's a list of vets in VA that work with ferrets. I'd start with this list to see if you can find one who doesn't mind taking on a complicated case. If surgery is a more risky option, using medication as treatment for the adrenal disease while treating the tumors may be the most effective and later doing the surgery, if indicated. I am a big fan of Suprelorin, which is an implant, and not listed above as treatment. The adrenal issues must be addressed or this ferret will eventually succumb to the effects of the illness:

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Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 9 months ago.

Checking in. How is Shadow doing? Have you had a chance to research the treatment options?