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Ferrets: cardiovascular and respiratory system disorders

image of Ferrets: cardiovascular and respiratory system disorders
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Abstract

Primary cardiac disease is a relatively common finding in pet ferrets, therefore it is important for practitioners to who work with this species to be able to recognize pertinent historical clues and physical examination findings as well as understand diagnostic and therapeutic options. Heart disease is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged to older ferrets and presentations are similar to those seen in other species. In contrast, primary respiratory disease, with the exception of influenza, is uncommon in clinical practice and can affect ferrets of any age. A number of respiratory abnormalities are the result of primary cardiac disease, trauma, neoplasia, or space-occupying lesions. Even profound weakness (e.g. secondary to hypoglycaemia or systemic disease) can manifest as a respiratory abnormality. Cardiovascular and respiratory signs are intimately connected and the clinician should include diagnostic tests that will evaluate both systems in reaching a definitive diagnosis. This chapter considers Anatomy and physiology; General approach to the cardiorespiratory case; Cardiac disease; and Respiratory disease.

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Figures

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26.2 Pulmonary oedema in a ferret with valvular heart disease. This ferret had severe regurgitation of the aortic valve, moderate regurgitation of the mitral valve and mild tricuspid regurgitation.
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26.4 Electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings recorded from three ferrets. Normal sinus rhythm at a heart rate of 260 bpm. Note that R waves appear tall, similar to a canine ECG tracing. Low-grade second-degree atrioventricular (AV) block with a normal heart on echocardiography. Note the four non-conducted P waves in this tracing. Third-degree AV block. Although there are regular R–R and P–P intervals, note that there is no association between the R and P waves
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26.6 Two-dimensional echocardiogram from a ferret with a normal heart. Right parasternal short-axis view at the level of the heart base. AO = aorta; LA = left atrium. Right parasternal short-axis view at the level of the ventricles. LV = left ventricle; RV = right ventricle.
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26.7 Two-dimensional echocardiogram from a ferret with severe aortic insufficiency. Right parasternal long-axis view. Note the blue–green jet of regurgitant blood flow from the aortic valve, extending back beyond the mid-left ventricular region. AO = aorta; LA = left atrium; LV = left ventricle.
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26.8 This male ferret presented with increased upper respiratory effort and sounds, nasal swelling and deep mucosal and dermal ulcerations progressing to oronasal fistulation. The aetiological agent was . (Courtesy of Jennifer Graham, Angell Animal Medical Center.)
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26.9 Impression smear of an intranasal mass from a ferret showing pyogranulomatous inflammation and 10–40 µm spherical yeast-like organisms surrounded by a thick clear capsule (short arrows). Some of the organisms demonstrate narrow-based budding (long arrow). The morphology of the fungal organisms is consistent with (Diff-Quik stain; original magnification x1000). (Case submitted by Kimberly Mickley; photomicrograph provided by Patty Ewing, Angell Animal Medical Center.)

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