ISSN 2398-2985      

Ovarian remnant syndrome

4ferrets
Contributor(s):

Sarah Brown

Jemma Hildrew


Introduction

  • Cause: incomplete removal of ovarian tissue at the time of spay, ectopic ovarian tissue or auto-transplantation of ovarian tissue at the time of spay.
  • Signs: return to estrus, swollen vulva.
  • Diagnosis: imaging often non-conclusive, although ultrasonography may show retained ovarian tissue. Response to estrus suppression may be helpful, but ultimately exploratory laparotomy and histopathology of found tissue usually indicated for definitive diagnosis.
  • Treatment: exploratory laparotomy to find and remove the retained ovarian tissue. Chemical estrus suppression could be used, eg proligestone or deslorelin, but it would be difficult to rule out ovarian neoplasia.
  • Prognosis: poor if not treated; risk of hypoestrogenism and potentially development of ovarian neoplasia. Good if all retained tissue is removed, or if estrus is carefully managed by chemical means.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Incomplete removal of ovarian tissue at the time of spay, ectopic ovarian tissue or auto-transplantation of ovarian tissue at the time of spay.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Surgeon inexperience/poor technique.
  • Remnant ovarian tissue is more common when ferrets are spayed very young.

Specific

  • Presence of ectopic ovarian tissue.

Pathophysiology

  • Ovarian activity leads to estrus signs including vulval swelling.

Timecourse

  • Return to season at next breeding season, despite spaying.

Epidemiology

  • Generally, an individual problem (although likely to present with clinical disease issues if kept alone rather than if with an entire or vasectomized male as mating will allow induced ovulation and prevent prolonged estrus and hypoestrogenism).

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jekl V & Hauptman K (2017) Reproductive medicine in ferrets. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 20 (2), 629-663 PubMed.
  • Martinez A, Martinez J, Burballa A & Martorell J (2011) Spontaneous thecoma in a spayed pet ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with alopecia and swollen vulva. J Exotic Pet Med 20 (4), 308-312 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Jekl V & Casale C (2021) Soft Tissue Surgery: Ferrets. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W. Elsevier, NL. pp 426-445.
  • Meyer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Ovarian Remnant Syndrome. In: Clinical Veterinary Advisor Birds and Exotic Pets. Elsevier, NL. pp 484-485.
  • Chitty J R & Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Common Surgical Procedures. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 389-419.
  • Capello V (2009) Ferrets: Common Surgical Procedures. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. BSAVA, UK. pp 254-268.

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