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Keywords:

  • ferret;
  • echocardiography;
  • Doppler;
  • ketamine;
  • cardiac output

M-mode and Doppler echocardiographic values were obtained from 30 normal adult ferrets (14 neutered females, 13 neutered males, 3 intact males) sedated with an intramuscular combination of keta mine hydrochloride and midazolam. Routine M-mode measurements of the left and right ventricle, left atrium (LA) and aorta (AO) and Doppler measurements of aortic and pulmonic outflow, and mitral inflow were recorded. The following values were calculated: LA:AO diameter, ratio of peak E: peak A wave velocity (E:A ratio) for mitral inflow, and stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO) and cardiac index (CI) for both pulmonary and aortic outflow tracts. Maximal aortic velocities (AOmax) and velocity-time integral values (A0 VTI) were significantly less than corresponding pulmonary outflow tract values (PAmax PA VTI) but there was no difference in calculated values for SV, CO or CI. Calculated CO values were in the range expected based on the size of the species. Difficulties in aligning the aortic outflow tract for Doppler imaging may make pulmonary outflow Doppler values more consistent for use in estimating volume flow in ferrets.