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Lump on ferret's face.

Species: Other
Breed: feret
Age: 2-5 years
My daughters feret has a lump on it's cheek. At first it did not grow fast , but now it is. It is purple, Nothing draining. Behaviour is normal and eating fine. Not scratching at it. The lump started about three months ago.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

There are a few things that could cause a lump like this in a ferret.

The first possibility is something called a salivary mucocele. This type of problem is caused by swelling in one of the salivary glands. It is not usually purple, but if it has been there a while it could be infected and this could cause the purple color. A salivary mucocele is treatable, but usually needs a surgery that can be a little bit difficult to do.

The next possibility is that this is a tumor. There are a number of different types of tumors that can affect ferrets. Some are potentially treatable with surgery depending on how large and invasive the lump is.

Another possibility is an abscess, possibly even a tooth root abscess. If this is the case then having your vet do some dental work (likely removing the tooth) could possibly cure Lucy.

A cyst is possible, but should not be getting larger and turning purple, so this is unlikely.

It does sound like Lucy will need to see a vet. The vet will likely do a test called a fine needle aspirate. This is where they put a tiny needle into the swelling and draw some cells out. They may need to look at this material under the microscope. This really should determine whether this is a mucocele, a tumor or an infection and should give us a good idea as to whether it can be treated.

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.