Clinical Signs and Estradiol, Androstenedione and 17-α-Hydroxyprogesterone Measurements in Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo) Diagnosed with Hyperadrenocorticism
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2017
A. Ilgaza; S. Grinblate
Preclinical Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Agriculture, Jelgava, Latvia


There are many research studies about hyperadrenocorticism in neutered male and female pet ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). It is considered that chronic elevation in circulating gonadotropins, predominantly luteinizing hormone (LH), that follows ovariectomy or orchiectomy, is a prerequisite for neoplastic transformation in the adrenal glands. Due to development of adrenal disease, several sex steroid levels increase and typical clinical signs are emerging.


To summarize clinical findings and sex steroid levels in ferrets, presented in various veterinary clinics with clinical signs associated with hyperadrenocorticism and evaluate them.


Forty-two ferrets (n=20 female, n=22 male) with various clinical symptoms related to hyperadrenocorticism were included in this research. Clinical examination was performed and blood samples were collected. In blood samples levels of 17-α-hydroxyprogesterone, estradiol and androstenedione were detected.


Blood sample results indicated abnormal hormonal levels in all animals. Nineteen ferrets had more than one sex steroid increased and 25 animals had elevated androstenedione levels. Results of clinical examination showed that main clinical signs were: alopecia, observed to all animals in various degrees; fragile skin; behavioral changes; weight loss; recurrence of sexual behavior; polyuria and polydipsia; pruritus and scaling

Figure 1

In individual animals numerous clinical signs were observed. Each ferret had 4–6 clinical signs.


Most common clinical signs were alopecia, pruritus and behavioral changes. Sex steroids - androstenedione, 17-α-hydroxyprogesterone, estradiol levels were abnormal in all animals, included in this research. We would like to point out that more than one hormone was increased in 20 cases (45%) of ferrets.


Speaker Information
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S. Grinblate
Preclinical Institute
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Latvia University of Agriculture
Jelgava, Latvia

A. Ilgaza
Preclinical Institute
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Latvia University of Agriculture
Jelgava, Latvia

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