Bella's autopsy pictures


Adrenal tumour.


Adrenal tumour sort of next to the blade.


Liver with lots of cysts (and there was another lobe of the liver that had a huge cyst inside).


Growth on pancreas.

Bella's histopathology report:


Alopecia, acute inappetence and lethargy. ?Nausea, coughing. Post mortem samples: Rt liver lobe + liver lobe associated with gall bladder, left adrenal gland, tip left limb of pancreas.

Pancreatic Islet Cell Tumour and Adrenal Cortical Hyperplasia

Prognosis Not Applicable

The submission consists of fixed necropsy samples of various tissues from an 8-year-old, female, Ferret.

LIVER: the sections examined reveal mild, patchy fatty vacuolation, of minimal pathological significance, as well as moderate cystic biliary hyperplasia. The latter lesions are typically dramatic visually, but of little pathological significance.

GALL BLADDER: the section examined is histologically unremarkable.

PANCREAS: the section reveals a discrete neoplasm of islet cell origin. The appearance is of an originally encapsulated tumour which has now begun to infiltrate locally into the exocrine tissues.

According to most sources, pancreatic islet cell tumours are the commonest neoplasms of ferrets. they arise mostly from the beta cells and secrete insulin, hence their popular name of “insulinoma”. Clinical signs are referable to hypoglycaemia. Peak prevalence of these tumours is between 4 and 7 years old ad there is no sex predilection, although there is a suggestion that neutered animals are more frequently affected than intact ones.

ADRENAL GLAND: the section reveals substantial adreno-cortical hyperplasia.

Hyperadrenocorticism is common in ferrets. It may result from adrenal hyperplasia or neoplasia. Clinical signs may include bilaterally symmetrical alopecia, pruritus, pot-bellied appearance, muscle atrophy, thinning of the skin, vulvar enlargement in females, sometimes mammary gland enlargement in males and anaemia. Affected animals often do not have elevated cortisol levels.

This unfortunate animals may well have been suffering concurrent hypoglycaemia and Cushing’s syndrome.