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Ferrets: diagnostic imaging

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Abstract

Incorrect positioning of small mammal patients such as ferrets has been quoted as the most common reason for non-diagnostic radiographs or misdiagnosis of disease. In the majority of cases it is preferable to ensure that the patient is immobilized chemically when performing radiography, either through gaseous or injectable sedation or anaesthesia. This will allow the correct anatomical positioning of the patient for standard comparable views to be taken and ensure that clinicians and support staff can vacate the immediate area, complying with any ionizing radiation Health and Safety regulations. Ferrets also tend to be uncooperative when physically restrained, therefore chemical restraint is recommended for their safety and that of the operators. This chapter looks at Positioning; Equipment; and Interpretation of radiography and ultrasonography.

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Figures

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19.1 Right lateral and DV whole body radiographs of a 3-year-old male ferret. Gas = small gas pocket of fundus; HSh = heart shadow with early cardiomegaly; LF = lung field; LK = left kidney; LSh = liver shadow; OP = os penis; RK = right kidney; S = stomach; SI = small intestines; Sp = spleen; Trach = trachea.
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19.2 Positioning for dental bisecting angle radiography.
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19.3 Right lateral radiograph of an immature ferret with normal heart shadow and obvious vertebral growth plates. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.4 Right lateral chest radiograph of a ferret with cardiomegaly and perihilar lung oedema. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.5 DV and lateral drawings of the thorax showing measurements of the cardiac outline, indicating thoracic vertebrae measurements (T5–T8) and the long axis (LA) and short axis (SA) of the heart. (Adapted from , with permission). Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.
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19.6 Lateral and DV chest radiographs of a ferret with pneumonia and cardiomegaly, showing alveolar and bronchial patterns.
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19.7 Lateral radiographs of a ferret with dyspnoea. Extensive pleural effusion. After removal of the effusion, showing a precardiac mass indicative of thymic neoplasia/lymphoma.
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19.8 Lateral and VD radiographs of a ferret chest, showing metastatic calcification of the lungs of unknown aetiology. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.9 Lateral and VD radiographs of a ferret with mild gaseous distension of the small intestines due to intestinal disease. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.10 Right lateral view of a ferret with splenic enlargement due to lymphoma. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.11 Right lateral view of a male ferret with struvite uroliths. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.12 Intraoral radiograph of alveolar bone loss around premolar 2/premolar 3 of the left maxillary arcade of a 4-year-old castrated male ferret.
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19.13 VD view of an immature ferret pelvis and abdomen showing obvious vertebral, pelvic and hindlimb growth plates. (Courtesy of M Ward and the R(D)SVS.)
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19.14 Normal right adrenal gland in cross-section (dotted line). Adenocarcinomatous left adrenal gland in cross-section (dotted line); in longitudinal section, showing nodule formation at one pole (dotted line). (Courtesy of W Lewis and R Doyle.)

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