Posted: March 1, 2009, 5 a.m. EST
Q: I have a ferret that is close to 7 years old. She developed a lump on her side that looked like a blister. I took her to the veterinarian a month ago because the blister didn’t go away. When the veterinarian tried to take a sample of the infected area, it popped and clear liquid came out. A couple of days later, the blister was gone. The veterinarian said to monitor it, and I have been. Just recently the blister came back, and it looks exactly the same (same size, same spot). I'm not sure what I to do. Any ideas what might be causing this lump?
A: It is uncommon for ferrets to spontaneously get a blister. Burned skin can blister, but this does not sound like burned skin. A cyst or infection associated with a hair follicle might appear like a blister and re-appear once it seemed to open up. In most cases, this is best treated with removal of the cyst.
There are some types of cancer that can look like a blister, but in almost all cases these are benign tumors. As in the case of cysts, removal by a skin biopsy is usually curative.
At this point, I suggest returning to your veterinarian to see what he or she recommends. If this is just a small skin lesion, it should take your veterinarian only a few minutes to remove this, and this should be very safe for your ferret.