Commitment to Care: Lola

Lola, a 2-year-old Domestic Ferret, was presented to Dr. Godfrey at Pinellas Animal Hospital with an array of clinical signs including decreased appetite, decreased water intake, abnormal stool and noticeable muscle wasting around the hips.  During the examination Lola’s abdomen was found to be normal on palpation, and she exhibited normal walking ability, clear, ears, and clear eyes.  The only abnormality observed during the physical exam was her thin body condition.

Considering Lola’s condition, she was prescribed Metronidazole, and we informed her owner that a referral to a specialist might be necessary if her symptoms did not improve.  On the following day, a follow-up check revealed minimal improvement in Lola’s condition, with ongoing difficulty in getting her to eat.  However, by day 3 Lola showed significant improvement, displaying increased activity and a restored appetite.  We were pleased with her progress during the recheck appointment one week later.

Approximately 3 weeks after the initial visit, Lola’s family noticed abdominal swelling and sought the expertise of Dr. Peter Helmer, an exotics specialist at Blue Pearl.  During the physical examination, Dr. Helmer detected a lime-size mass in Lola’s abdomen, ultimately diagnosing Lola with a renal cyst.  To further investigate her condition, Lola was sedated for bloodwork, radiographs, and an ultrasound.  Subsequently, the cyst was drained by Dr. Helmer, resulting in a reduction in abdominal size.  However, the cyst rapidly refilled after the drainage, leading Blue Pearl to refer Lola back to Pinellas Animal Hospital for further treatment with Dr. Mandy Wallen.   After Dr. Wallen and Dr. Helmer consulted on the case, it was determined that surgical removal of a portion of the cyst was the best course of action for Lola’s overall well-being and to ensure a normal, healthy ferret life.

Two days later, Lola underwent surgery performed by Dr. Wallen, during which a large cyst occupying approximately one-third of the abdominal space associated with the left kidney was successfully treated.   The cyst wall was then submitted for histopathology.  Lola’s recovery from the surgery was uneventful, and she was discharged the following day with the appropriate pain medication.  Her only restriction was to limit physical activity to a moderate level.  When we contacted Lola’s family the next day, they reported that she was doing exceptionally well and displaying a strong desire to be active, indicating positive progress.  The histopathology report confirmed the cyst to be benign.

Lola returned for a recheck examination and suture removal, during which her overall condition was found to be excellent, displaying her playful nature as before.  The incision site has healed remarkably well, and there was no need to impose any further activity restrictions.  Dr. Wallen informed Lola’s family of these positive outcomes, and everyone expressed their joy and satisfaction with the great news.