Echocardiographic and electrocardiographic examination of clinically healthy, conscious ferrets
Article first published online: 9 DEC 2010
© 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Journal of Small Animal Practice
Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 18–25, January 2011
How to Cite
Dudás-Györki, Z., Szabó, Z., Manczur, F. and Vörös, K. (2011), Echocardiographic and electrocardiographic examination of clinically healthy, conscious ferrets. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 52: 18–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2010.01010.x
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 9 DEC 2010
- Accepted: 27 September 2010; Published online: 9 December 2010
Objectives: To assess the feasibility of performing electrocardiography (ECG) and echocardiography on conscious ferrets and to establish reference values for this species under these conditions.
Methods: End-systolic and end-diastolic left ventricular (LV) diameters, LV and interventricular septal thicknesses were measured by M-mode echocardiography, while left atrial, aortic and pulmonary trunk diameters were determined by two-dimensional echocardiography in 46 ferrets. In some animals the maximum velocities of blood flow in the aorta and the pulmonary trunk were also measured by spectral Doppler. ECG examinations were performed by using limb leads both in right lateral recumbency and in the so-called “hanging” position. In the course of the ECG examinations (n=43), the occurrences, directions, durations and amplitudes of the P, QRS and T waves and the duration of the PR- and QT intervals were recorded for all six leads.
Results: ECG and echocardiography were successfully performed on non-sedated ferrets in 90 and 96% of the cases, respectively. Males were significantly heavier and had larger cardiac dimensions compared to females.
Clinical Significance: Performance of both echocardiography and ECG are feasible techniques in conscious ferrets, and reference values are now available for future comparisons.