Objectives: To determine urine specific gravity values in clinically healthy pet ferrets and explore possible associations with sex, sampling techniques, hydration status and urine analytes.
Methods: Sixty-nine entire ferrets of both sexes, under one year of age, were included in this study. Physical examination, complete blood count, blood biochemistry, urine microscopy, urine dipstick and urine specific gravity were performed on all ferrets. Urine specific gravity was determined using a handheld urine refractometer. Statistical analysis was performed to determine urine specific gravity value intervals and to test for associations with sex, sample collection method, packed cell volume, plasma total protein concentrations and urine analytes.
Results: Urine specific gravity differed by sex in ferrets as females exhibited a lower urine specific gravity (P<0·001). There was no significant correlation between urine specific gravity, sampling method, packed cell volume/total protein and urine dipstick analytes. Mean urine specific gravity reported in this study was 1·051 for entire males (sd ±9; range 1·034 to 1·070) and 1·042 for entire females (sd ±8; range 1·026 to 1·060).
Clinical Significance: Results of this study may allow clinicians to have a more accurate evaluation of the ability of those animals to concentrate urine by comparing their urine specific gravity results to those obtained from this cohort of clinically healthy animals.