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Keywords:

  • computed tomography;
  • CT;
  • ferret;
  • lymphoma;
  • lymphosarcoma;
  • lymphoproliferative;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • MRI;
  • radiograph;
  • ultrasound

Lymphoma is the most common malignant neoplasia in domestic ferrets, Mustela putorius furo. However, imaging findings in ferrets with lymphoma have primarily been described in single case reports. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe imaging findings in a group of ferrets with confirmed lymphoma. Medical records were searched between 2002 and 2012. A total of 14 ferrets were included. Radiographs (n = 12), ultrasound (n = 14), computed tomography (CT; n = 1), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI; n = 1) images were available for review. Median age at the time of diagnosis was 5.2 years (range 3.25–7.6 years). Clinical signs were predominantly nonspecific (8/14). The time between the first imaging study and lymphoma diagnosis was 1 day or less in most ferrets (12). Imaging lesions were predominantly detected in the abdomen, and most frequently included intra-abdominal lymphadenopathy (12/14), splenomegaly (8/14), and peritoneal effusion (11/14). Lymphadenopathy and mass lesions were typically hypoechoic on ultrasound. Mild peritoneal effusion was the only detected abnormality in two ferrets. Mild pleural effusion was the most common thoracic abnormality (3/12). Expansile lytic lesions were present in the vertebrae of two ferrets with T3-L3 myelopathy and the femur in a ferret with lameness. Hyperattenuating, enhancing masses with secondary spinal cord compression were associated with vertebral lysis in CT images of one ferret. The MRI study in one ferret with myelopathy was inconclusive. Findings indicated that imaging characteristics of lymphoma in ferrets are similar to those previously reported in dogs, cats, and humans.