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O2009-47

Dear Frank B. Ferret

Jazzy, my 6-year-old ferret, has lumps on his body. My veterinarian biopsied them and diagnosed lymphosarcoma. We started Jazzy on prednisone, hoping it gives him more time. What can you tell me about lymphosarcoma?

Frank Responds

I’m sorry to hear about Jazzy’s diagnosis. Lymphosarcoma, also called lymphoma, is cancer of the lymphatic system. The disease is all too common in us ferrets.

Because the lymphatic system extends throughout the body, the cancer can attack any organ. It sounds like Jazzy’s lymphosarcoma affects his lymph nodes.

Clinical signs reflect the part(s) of the body invaded by the cancerous cells. In addition, most ferrets experience lethargy, diminished appetite and weight loss.

In ferrets from one to two years of age, the disease is more aggressive than in patients Jazzy’s age. Chemotherapy with prednisone and other medications may extend life, but it doesn’t cure the disease.

I hope it gives you and Jazzy some very special time together.

 

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