Enlarged Spleen in Ferrets



The condition hypersplenism is not fully understood. However, since it is accompanied by a dearth of red and white cells, along with depression and high fever in a ferret, infection is suspected to be a cause. Consequently, the treatment for hypersplenism is a splenectomy. This seems to work well in ferrets as opposed to many other species. Likewise, any cancer of the spleen (especially lymphosarcoma) requires splenectomy.


If the ferret is showing signs of a systemic infection which responds to antibiotic administration, then a splenectomy may be unnecessary. If an underlying disease like cardiomyopathy or Aleutian Disease is present, then these illnesses must receive treatment (cardiomyopathy) or supportive care (Aleutian Disease). In most cases, if a ferret is acting normally and its bloodwork is normal, splenomegaly may be safely ignored.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will schedule regular follow-up appointments depending on the underlying cause of your ferret’s splenomegaly. If your ferret has had a splenectomy, feed it only small meals for the first few days after surgery and call your veterinarian immediately if you see any swelling, redness, or oozing from the surgical site.