Charlie's operation pictures
Charlie's histopathology report:
Diagnosis Splenic Nodular Hyperplasia and Extramedullary Haemopoiesis
Prognosis Probably good
Spleen: 1 sample received; 1 section evaluated.
The splenic parenchyma is markedly expanded by approximately 1.5 cm thick, but remains confined within a histologically normal capsule. There is marked nodular expansion of some lymphoid follicles and sheaths by a mixed population of small lymphocytes with fewer large lymphocytes, occasional histiocytes and the odd plasma cell. The intervening red pulp appears congested and includes substantial extramedullary haematopoiesis (EMH).
Spleen: Lymphoid Nodular Hyperplasia, Congestion and Extramedullary Haematopoiesis
Splenomegaly is common in the ferret, especially in middle-aged to older patients, but may be seen in young animals. It has been associated with several a variety of disease conditions, including lymphoma, other types of neoplasia, Aleutian Disease, bacterial infections, anaemia, generalized chronic illnesses, extramedullary haemopoiesis (EMH) and congestion. In this case, the pleomorphic nature of the white pulp proliferation is most consistent with benign nodular hyperplasia of the spleen, which in other species, is an incidental finding often associated with ageing. This lesion is not typical of lymphoma; however it should be noted that occasionally in the ferret, splenomegaly can be seen in cases of lymphoma without any neoplastic lymphocytes in the spleen itself, the splenomegaly caused only by EMH, so lymphoma could not be excluded with absolute certainty. There is no overt evidence of neoplasia of any other kind. There is no marked plasmacytic infiltration of the red pulp to suggest Aleutian disease and no increase in splenic granulocytes, so bacterial infection seems unlikely.
Anaemia is commonly associated with splenomegaly in ferrets. Such anaemia may simply be a consequence of increased phagocytic capacity associated with enlarged spleen, but other underlying causes may merit clinical investigation.
The underlying cause for the congestion and EMH could not be determined from the histological appearance (although the EMH could represent a response to the anaemia), so this is classified as idiopathic splenomegaly, as is usually the case in enlarged ferret spleens. Most patients do well, so the prognosis is probably good with continued clinical care. Remember that the splenectomized patient has a lifelong increased susceptibility to infections and also that when there is marked EMH in the spleen, it may be the main source of erythrocytes and it may take some time for the bone marrow to resume production at a satisfactory level, so marked anaemia may ensue after splenectomy.