View Full Version : Tail Bump! (with a pic)

03-18-2007, 06:21 PM
My older ferret is now about 3 and a half years old.

Not a very old man :)

But, about 2 years back I noticed a bump on the tip of his tail. I took him to the vet right away and he said it was one of two things, either a previously broken tail or a chordoma, either of which would be relatively harmless and painless to the ferret.

But I've noticed it's gotten bigger, its about as big as my thumb nail now.

Which is understandable, if its a chordoma, becasue they continue to grow, its like a cartilage growth on a small piece of bone. However, I've read that these are not easily removed, but they're also painless.

He does not seem to be in pain at all. I have tried even gently applying pressure on it, and he could care less. So it seems like its totally painless. However, this ferret is also (in my eyes) underweight, weighing just over 1 pound (he's very small, not just skinny).

Anyways, the skin has stretched so much from the little growth that he doesn't have any hairs on the very tip of his tail anymore (just around the top of the growth).

Here's the picture.


Sorry for the bad angle. But I'm moving back the top part of the hair so you can see it better. Let me know if you need another pic.

Should I take him back to the vet and ask him to remove the chordoma? Or should I find a new vet, and find a new diagnosis?

03-18-2007, 06:48 PM
My family's first ferret had that same thing, we had it removed. But she also lost all the hair on her tail because of having the lump

I say take him back to the vet and see what the vet has to say. Better safe then sorry in my eyes.

03-18-2007, 07:00 PM
We only just helped to place a wayward ferret who had the same type of knot on her tail. It was indeed a chordoma. You're right, its fairly simple to remove by laser. Removal is a good idea, since it is more comfortable for them. Chordomas are typically unlikely to become malignant.

03-18-2007, 07:54 PM
Yup! Thanks to your two replies and nifty google image searching, I've come to the conclusion that it probably is just a chordoma, and I'm calling first thing in the morning to make him an appointment, and begin the process of having it removed.

Do you think this might be why he's so skinny? I can feel all of his bones, including his hip bones, easily. I should take a picture of him after bathtime, he's so skinny.

I know he's eating right and exercising and playing plenty so he's healthy. They eat totally ferret food, so its not like im feeding them Walmart brand Catfood.

And he eats the fatty ferret treats, I try to give him one a day to put on some weight.

He seems healthy though, and happy. Just too skinny for my own good, I worry too much!

I'm such a mom.

Thanks for making me feel better though, I'm glad to know there's a very good chance that it isn't something that's going to cause him to go to the Bridge early.

03-18-2007, 07:56 PM
Chordomas are normally seen at the end of the tail, and sometimes in the neck area of ferrets. I haven't found any cases of metastatis in tail chordomas in my readings, however, the general consensus is that all chordomas are considered to be "potentially" malignant, and the recommendation is to have it removed.

03-19-2007, 01:19 PM
We're going to the vet on Friday the 23rd. I'll let everyone know how it turns out!

03-19-2007, 01:41 PM
Thanks...we appreciate updates! I'll be giving my update then as well since I have one going in on Friday also...I'll be thinking of you. Best wishes.

03-19-2007, 04:00 PM
Best wishes for you too, ferretzrule :)

Bandie Bear MAMA
03-19-2007, 04:26 PM
i hope everything goes well.

03-20-2007, 03:36 AM
i hope so too. i sure hope they can remove that ugly thing.

03-20-2007, 04:34 AM
Thank you guys for the kind wishes!! We appreciate them!!

I have been doing LOTS of reading on this type of thing in ferrets, and from what I've read they will end up taking the end two tail bone segments off, so he'll lose about an inch and a half I suppose. So like 1/3rd of his widdle tail. But it's for the best!

I'm hoping that they will give me some secrets on how to get him to gain weight, too. I've been reading on all sorts of reasons why he could be skinny, and he doesn't show any symptoms of anything, other than skinniness. But they're going tot ake blood on Friday and test him for all the possibilities, so Friday is a big day that could get ugly fast.

But I have a fantastic feeling that everything's going to be alright. :)

03-20-2007, 04:38 AM
I have a little one that only weighed 1lb 6oz and when I started giving her soup,she gained 6oz. She looks and feels great now!

03-20-2007, 04:58 AM
I just weighed the skinny minny with me on the human scale (for lack of a better weight information getter) and he added exactly 2 lbs to my weight.

He feels lighter than that though.

i dunno, maybe he's not as thin as I think he is, cause compared to the 4lb Wedge he's pretty skinny! Lol :)

03-20-2007, 06:12 AM
Wow. I have never seen anything like that. Well, our german shorthair had a lump like that on his side, but it was an absess. It looks very painful on your fert...thank god it isn't though. Poor little thing. How do they get that?
Best wishes to you andyour little one :)

03-20-2007, 08:06 PM
I took Meesha to my vet 3 days after I got her for the same issue. The bulb she had was quite heavy and her tail would drag on the ground. My vet gave her a local and lasered it off. It's really cute to see her now w/a bob tail. Vet said it was benign which I was happy to hear.

03-23-2007, 01:36 PM
So, we just got back from the vet.

The vet basically told me less than I know about Chordomas, and that's about that. I asked about Biggles' weight, and he said he was in normal weight range. I asked him to test for insulinoma and adrenal and stuff, so we got blood taken for an Insulinoma test.

In regards to Adrenal Disease, I asked about it since I knew a symptom was yellowing of the fur, and he's yellowing on the top of his head (between ears). The vet told me, and I quote:

He won't get it this year, but next year he'll lose an abundance of hair.

So does this mean my ferret IS adrenal? I'm confused.

Also, does anyone know a *good* surgeon in Arizona? I need to schedule a tail amputation.


03-23-2007, 02:55 PM
that vet sounds to me like an absolute quack! maybe i'm wrong, but he sure doesn't sound like he knows too much about ferrets.

03-23-2007, 07:00 PM
It doesn't sound like things went very well today...I'm sorry. I wish I did know a vet in your area to help. I think you're best bet is going to be in Phoenix though...or check with a local shelter and see who they use/recommend.
It sounds to me like you need a vet with more ferret experience.

03-23-2007, 07:06 PM
Kary, please post the vet info I sent to you last week for the vet please - I've already lceared it from my PM box sent items.

He's not far from Scottsdale, and Dr. Greek gave him high marks.

01-28-2009, 02:27 PM
bumped for TM