ISSN 2398-2985      

Hypoparathyroidism

4ferrets

Introduction

  • Cause: may be inherited, but has also been reported following thyroid or parathyroid gland surgery or immune-mediated parathyroid disease.
  • Signs: seizures, depression.
  • Diagnosis: serum biochemistry/PTH, ultrasonography, CT.
  • Treatment: calcium replacement therapy and/or vitamin D supplementation to ameliorate symptoms.
  • Hypoparathyroidism is characterized by a decreased function of the parathyroid glands with decreased production of parathyroid hormone.
  • This may subsequently result in hypocalcemia and associated clinical signs.
  • Hypoparathyroidism is considered rare in ferrets

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • The condition may be inherited, but has also been reported following thyroid or parathyroid gland surgery or immune-mediated parathyroid disease.
  • In one case report primary hypoparathyroidism was suspected based on the inability to identify the parathyroid glands upon necropsy.
  • Besides primary hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism (characterized by elevated serum PTH concentrations resulting from peripheral PTH resistance) and secondary hypoparathyroidism (characterized by decreased serum PTH concentrations in response to a primary process that causes hypercalcemia) may also be distinguished.

Predisposing factors

General

  • No predisposing factor could be identified in the cases described.

Pathophysiology

  • Primary hypoparathyroidism is a state of inadequate parathyroid hormone (PTH) activity, resulting in concomitant hypocalcemia
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism has also been suspected in ferrets and is a condition that clinically resembles hypoparathyroidism.

Timecourse

  • Slow progression over weeks, although a case of sudden onset of clinical signs has also been reported.

Epidemiology

  • Very rare condition in ferrets.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Martínez C, Sabater M, Giner J et al (2015) Spontaneous primary hypoparathyroidism in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo). J Exotic Pet Med 24 (3), 333-339 VetMedResource.
  • de Matos R E, Connolly M J, Starkey S R et al (2014) Suspected primary hypoparathyroidism in a domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo). J Am Vet Med Assoc 245 (4), 419-424 PubMed.
  • Wilson G H, Greene C E & Greenacre C B (2003) Suspected pseudohypoparathyroidism in a domestic ferret. JAVMA 222 (8), 1093-1096 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Schoemaker N J & van Zeeland Y R A (2017) Disorders of the Endocrine System. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 191-218.
  • Miller C M, Marini R P, Fox J G (2014) Diseases of the Endocrine System. In: Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Eds: Fox J G & Marini RP. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 377-400.

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