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Ferrets

Rabbits, Rodents and Ferrets Lectures 1-6

QuestionAnswer
Ferrets are: Carnivores
What family do ferrets belong to? Who are their closest relatives? Mustelidae: weasels, otters, badgers, mink, wolverines
Who is the largest commercial breeder of ferrets and what is included when they are sold? Marshal Farms, descent, spay/neuter, distemper vx (usually), and ear tattoo (L ear, 2 dots)
Where is the heart located in the ferret? More caudal that you would expect?
Do ferrets have a SHORT or LONG GI tract? SHORT --- GI transit approx 4h
Why do ferrets stink? Anal sacs usually removed by breeder, but sebaceious glands are responsible for most of the smell
What are male and female ferrets called? Males: Hob, Females: Jill
How long is ferret gestation, age of sexual maturity, and avg litter size? gestation: 41-43d, sexual maturity: 4-8months, litter size: 1-18 kits (6 avg)
Ferret husbandy and nutrition: multi-level cage, can live in groups, don't let loose unattended, litter trained (in corners usually), commercial ferret diet or high protein kitten food
How do you restrain a ferret? minimal, scruffing, stretching, sweet distraction
Life span of a ferret: 6-12y
PE on a ferret: Normal temp: 100-104, HR 180-250, RR 33-36, Blood Volume 60-80mL (8% BW), urine pH 6.5-7.5
Vaccines: Canine Distemper: use galaxy-D, fervac, or recombinant merial (not the dog MLV) Rabies: Imrab-3, use once a year
T or F, ferrets are prone to vx reactions: TRUE
What HW preventative should be used? Avermectin - follow cat doses
Are GI parasites a concern with ferrets? worms are rare, but coccidia, giardia, and crytpo possible --- parasite prev. with cat dosages and drugs
What flew and ear mite preventative should you use? Flea: imidacloprild, fipronel, selamectin Ear mites: tresaderm, ivermectin, selamectin
Can ferrets get mange? yes, demodex and scabies
What dental concerns should you have for ferrets? periodontal disease and oral FB
Where should you collect blood? superficially at manubrium --- red top for syrum, purple top for CBC
What is different with a ferrets creatinine? A narrow normal range, and does not rise much with renal disase
Are unmatched blood transfusions safe in ferrets? Yes -- at least 1-3, because apparently they lack blood groups
What is the incidence of megaesophagus in ferrets? occurs rarely, usually acquired in older ferrets, presents with regurgitation and coughing, diagnosed radiographically (with contrast)
What are clinical signs seen in a ferret associated with GI disease? Bruxism (teeth grinding) associated with abdominal pain, Nausea associated with drooling, pawing at the mouth, grinding teeth, and abnormal stools may be seen
What is the most important cause of gastritis in ferrets, what are the CS, and how do you dx and tx? Helicobacter mustelae, CS: vomiting/diarrhea, melena, weight loss, Dx: stomach biopsy or improvement with tx, Tx: (original triple tx) amoxicillin, metronidazole, bismuth subsalicyate, and a bland diet
What GI disease may ferrets experience caused by a foreign body, pyloric adenocarcinoma, or a dietary issue? Pyloric Obstruction or Gastric Bloat
Is bloat common in ferrets? No, it is rare
What is the most important GI disease in ferrets? CS, Dx, Tx: Foreign Body!! CS: rare vomiting (unlike in puppies), lethargy (chronic), weight loss, Dx: palpate mass, radiographs, ultrasound, Tx: surgical removal ---- often considered possible obstruction FB because the clinical signs seem chronic
What GI disease occurring in ferrets has an unknown clause, CS including mucoid/green diarrhea, occasional vomiting, and weight loss, is often diagnosed with intestinal biopsy, and is treated with prednisone? Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What GI disease in ferrets is usually associated with lawsonia intraceullaris? Proliferative bowel disease
What are the CS, Dx, and Tx of proliferative bowel disease in ferrets? CS: diarrhea (mucoid/green), thickened intestines, rectal prolapse, Dx: intestinal biopsy, Tx: chloramphenicol
What GI disease in ferrets is characterized by mucoid/green diarrhea, thickened, intestine, weight loss, and sometimes peripheral eosinophilia on CBC, is diagnosed with an intestinal biopsy, but is treated with prednisone and ivermectin? Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis
Is salmonella common in ferrets? No, it's rare and often associated with raw diets, often diagnosed with culture and treated supportively
What is "Green Slime Disease" in ferrets? Coronavirus (Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis)
What are CS of corona in ferrets? Worse in adults, green mucoid diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, possible slight increase in liver enzymes, can be acute or chronic
What are 3 common characteristics of gastroenteritis in ferrets? ALL common in young, ALL have similar CS, ALL require surgery and biopsy to diagnose
What cardiopulmonary diagnostics are used in ferrets? radiographs, ultrasound, ECG
What are the 2 classic heart diseases in ferrets and which is more common? Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Dilated cardiomyopathy (more common)
Do ferrets need taurine in their diet to prevent heart disease? No evidence, but arginine deficiency has been reported
What heart disease in ferrets is becoming more and more common, and affects the middle aged? Valvular heart disease
What are clinical signs of heartworms in ferrets? pleural effusion, ascites, coughing, lethargy, sudden death ---- similar to cats
Can you treat heartworms in ferrets? yes, diagnose with Ag snap test or ultrasound, treat with 2 doses of immiticide (may have a bad effect as in cats) or long term avermectins (more common choice), possibly doxycycline, no surgical removal
Do ferrets get bacterial pneumonia, if yes - what species? Not commonly, strep, pseudomonas, klebsiella, bordetella, tx with supportive care and abx
What viral diseases are common in ferrets? Influenza: very susceptible, used as model for human disease, CS identical to distemper, but self-limiting Canine Distemper: very susceptible to this paramyxovirus, CS similar to distemper in dogs, fatal Aleutian Mink Disease (Parvo)
What are the clinical signs of Aleutian Mink Disease in ferrets? mild-chronic (2-4 yrs post infection), chronic wasting, anemia, neuro signs in the young, increased TP, most cases sub-clinical, secondary immune-complex deposition
What are the CS of influenza and distemper in ferrets? BOTH: nasal and ocular discharge, sneezing, coughing, pyrexia Distemper: dermatitis, footpad hyperkeratosis, CNS
How do you diagnose aleutian mink disease in ferrets? Decreased albumin, elevated gamma globulins >20%, counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CEP), ELISA, often dx of exclusion
What are ddx for aleutian mink disease in ferrets? GI FB, Several GI diseases, lymphoma, insulinoma, lead toxicity, multiple myeloma
Can the canine parvovirus test detect aleutian mink disease? NO
Can ferrets contract feline panleukopenia? NO
How many types of non-endocrine neoplasia effect ferrets? Over 80, they are tumor magnets!
What is the most important non-endocrine neoplasia in ferrets? Lymphoma, 2 types: lymphoblastic (previously juvenile form) and lymphocytic (previous adult form)
What are the characteristics of lymphoblastic lymphoma in ferrets? More common in young, infiltration of visceral organs, non specficic signs, death (<1 yr old), mediastinal mass w/ pleural effusion, enlarged liver and spleen, intestinal and bone marrow infiltration, dx with lymphocytes >3500, rads, ultrasound, biopsy
What are characteristics of lymphocytic lymphoma in ferrets? Usually older ferrets, enlarged LN, wasting, nonspecific signs, more similar to the slow growing localized lymphoma in dogs, dx with biopsy
How do you treat lymphoma in ferrets? Vincristine, cyclophosphamide, prednisone
Name two benign tumors of ferrets: Mast cell tumors, sebaceous epitheliomas
Where do ferrets usually get chordoma and what are they associated with? Tails and Skulls, usually associated with Trauma --- also benign, but can be locally invasive
Describe Disseminated Idiopathic Myofasciitis in ferrets Affects 1-2yr olds, CS: FEVER, PAIN, lethargy, recumbency, vomiting, tachycardia, etc., mild to marked neutrophilic leukocytosis, anemia, hypoalbuminemia, hyperglycemia, and occasional others, white streaks in muscles, muscle wasting/disappearing
What is the most characteristic lesion of disseminated idiopathic myofasciitis in ferrets? Thickened esophagus
What may cause disseminated idiopathic myofasciitis in ferrets? Delayed vaccine reaction
What is Ferret Infectious Peritonitis? A unique coronavirus which causes epizootic catarrhal enteritis and a dry form similar to cat FIP, CS: anorexia, WL, diarrhea, large masses
Can Ab to feline infectious peritonitis be used to diagnose ferret infectious peritonitis? Possibly
What are the overall most important diseases in ferrets? Endocrine diseases: hyperadrenocorticism (not cushings), insulinoma, hyperestrogenism, ovarian remnant
Do ferrets get cushings disease? NO --- they do get hyperadrenocorticism due to elevated androgens and 17-hydroxyprogesterone, NOT elevated plasma cortisol as in dogs
What are the three types of adrenal disease in ferrets? Adrenocortical hyperplasia, adrenocortical adenoma, adrenocortical carcinoma
Do adrenal tumors metastasize in ferrets? Not usually to other organs; however, often bilateral
What predilections are present in ferret hyperadrenocorticism? 3-4 years after gonadectomy, no sex predilection, no predilection to L or R side, often bilateral
What are the clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets? alopecia, pruritus, females: swollen vulva males: urinary blockage caused by enlarged prostate, squamous metaplasia, bladder that can be manually expressed
What are the lab findings associated with hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets? NORMAL CBC and Chem, but several steroid hormone precursors elevated (androstenedione, dehydroepiandosterone, estradiol, 17-OH hydroxypgrosterone
How do you diagnose hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets? Ultrasound - measurements of adrenals ACTH stim, Dex suppression NOT diagnostic Urine cortisol: creatinine not specific Radiographs - non diagnostic
How do you treat hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets? Leuprolide acetate (Depo lupron) - synthetic GnRH, does not affect tumor but stops the stimulation to treat clinical signs NOT Mitotate: kills the adrenals MAYBE Bicalutamide (Casodex): androgen receptor blocker Anastrozole (Arimidex): blocks estr
What is Suprelorin? a deslorelin acetate implant -- long term treatment for hyperadrocorticism in ferrets
Medical vs. surgical intervention for hyperadrenocorticism: Medical: bilateral, older age, recurrence, prior to surgery Surgical: young, first treatment
How common are Insulinomas in ferrets? Very --- nearly as prevalent as hyperadrenocorticism, sometimes concurrently
What is the signalment for insulinomas in ferrets? >3 years old, slow onset, no sex predilection
What are the CS of insulinomas in ferrets? lethargy (95%), weakness, difficulty arousing from sleep, ptyalism, pawing at the mouth, weight loss, hind-limb ataxia
How do you dx insulinomas in ferrets? Presumptive: <60-70mg/dl blood glucose along with CS Other lab dx: CBC/Chem, rads, normal, Insulin levels above 250-300 pmol/L Ultrasound
How do you treat insulinomas in ferrets? Symptomatically (small frequent meals + karo syrup or nutrical), medically (diazoxide + prednisone), surgical excision (excise nodules, maintain on 2.5% dex, post-op pancreatitis rare, palliative)
Describe the female reproductive cycle in ferrets Seasonally polyestrous, induced ovulators, mating causes ovulation w/in 30-40h, estrus continues if not bred, chronically high estrogen level suppresses bone marrow --> death
What are the clinical signs of hyperestrogenism in ferrets? swollen vulva, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, bilaterally symmetrical alopecia, pale mucous membranes (ANEMIA)
How do you determine the severity of hyperestrogenism in ferrets? PCV >20% = fair to good px PCV 14-19% = guarded px PCV <14% = poor px
How do you treat hyperestrogenism in ferrets? supportive care, blood transfusion, reduce serum estrogen levels (OHE, hcG or GnRH to induce ovulation, mate to vasectomized male)
What other diagnosis presents exactly like hyperestrogenism in a spayed female or hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets? Ovarian remnant
How do you diagnose an ovarian remnant? Test treatment with hcG or GnRH, then exploratory surgery - inspect ovarian stumps at the caudolateral pole of each kidney
What miscellaneous urogenital diseases do ferrets experience? renal failure, hydronephrosis, cystitis, TCC
What time of urolith usually affects ferrets? CS, Dx, Tx: Struvite CS: dysuria, hematuria, painful urination Dx: CS< palpation, radiography Tx: catheterization (3fr + magnifying loops), cystotomy, PU
Why are urolithiasis less common in ferrets now-a-days? They are no longer fed dog food
What are common surgeries in ferrets? exploratory laparotomy, adrenal gland neoplasia, prostatic cysts, pancreatic B cell tumors, GI FB
What is important for ferrets pre-op? Stabilization!, Fast for NO MORE than 4 hours, pain meds! Butorphanol is a great anesthetic choice
What instruments are important for soft tissue sx in ferrets? magnification, mosquito forceps, fine toothed forceps, castroviejo needle holders, curved iris scissors, baby balfour retractors, hemoclips
When doing an exploratory laparotomy in ferrets - what organs should you examine? Adrenals, liver, LNs, pancreas, kidneys, spleen
Where are the adrenals located in ferrets? L: craniomedial to the kidneys, R: beneath caudate liver lobe, close to both vena cava and hepatorenal ligament often buried in fat, usually 2-3mm wide and 7-8mm long, light pink and homogenous
How should you remove an adrenal in a ferret? Using hemoclips -- not cryo or laser surgery, also use debakey clamps if near vena cava ---- known when to refer
Should you use dexamethasone sodium phosphate when removing both adrenals in ferrets? If the ferret is lethargic or there are electrolyte abnormalities
What are the complications of adrenal surgery in ferrets? life threatening vena cava bleeding, recurrence of adrenal dz (contralateral gland or diseased gland not entirely removed)
Should you take about both adrenals in a sick ferret? Yes --- though literature says 1 1/2
When are prostatic cysts common in ferrets? With adrenal gland neoplasia
Describe pancreatic anatomy in a ferret V shaped, R and L limbs + body, common pancreatic duct in body
How do you do surgical pancreatic excisions in ferrets? Remove single, multiple or diffuse nodules (nodulectomy or pancreatectomy -- ligate pancreatic tissue), take concurrent liver biopsy, maintain on 2.5% dex during surgery, post-op pancreatitis rare, warn that this is a palliative procedure
Post-op pancreatic surgery care in ferrets IV dextrose, small frequent meals, blood glucose levels q 12-24h, fasting blood glucose every 1-3 months Possible medical management: prednisone and diazoxide
How do you diagnose a GI foreign body in a ferret? palpation, radiographs (ileus, gas filled stomach), contrast, ultrasound
What do ferrets eat that become FBs? small foam objects, pencil erasers, cloth - usually partial obstruction
Describe GI surgery in ferrets Enterotomy: incision at antimesenteric border - longitudinally, close transversely Gastrotomy - milk out FB, Two-layer closure
True or False, Splenomegaly is common and benign in ferrets TRUE >2 years old
Primary causes of spleen disease in ferrets lymphoma, metastatic beta cell tumor, metastatic adrenal dz, cardiomyopathy, aleutian disease, eosinophilic gastritis
What surgeries are performed in ferrets pertaining to the spleen? percutaneous biopsy and splenectomy
How many lobes in a ferret's liver? 6
Why explore the liver in a ferret? lymphoma, hepatic lipidosis, met. pancreatic B cell tumors
What type of liver biopsy should be done in ferrets? transfixation suture (wedge biopsy) - just one of many ways text describes a punch biopsy -- but concern about bleeding
What are the indications for a cystotomy in ferrets? urolithiasis, urinary catheter placement
A perineal urethrostomy in a ferret should be done similarly to one species? cat --- only smaller
When do you neuter a ferret? What else must be done? 5-6 weeks of age, Tattoo
When do you do an OHE in a ferret? To prevent breeding, to prevent or treat hyperestrogenemia
How do you perform an OHE in a ferret? similar to a cat, large fat pads around ovaries, the suspensory ligament is slack
How do you perform a castration in a ferret? scrotal sac ventral to the anus, similar to a cat neuter, intact male ferrets have a pungent odor
Anal gland resection in ferrets: paired anal glands, usually removed at farms, if needed: use gentle traction, blunt dissection from the anal sphinchter muscles possible complications: rectal prolapse, fecal incontinence, fistulous tracts if part of tract remains
What oral surgery is done in ferrets? removing a salivary mucocele - facial swelling w/ a clear cyst, lance and establish drainage in the mouth
Created by: Sara2420