Message Number: YG4716 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Steph
Date: 2001-06-20 17:06:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: 4 month old ferret with

Dear Dr. Williams,

Thank you so much for your response to my posting regarding
Mikey. I was at the clinic today with Mikey to have his
ultrasound and other tests done. My vet has done ultrasounds
in the past on ferrets, but has not had any luck finding
normal measurements for ferrets. He had all the measurements
for a ferret with cardiomyopathy and talked to a ferret vet at
the Animal Medical Centre in New York and was told to go on
VIM and tried several other places, (I hope that I have my
information correct) no where could he find the normals.
I told him about this list and he said that he didn't mind if
I asked if you would know the normal measurements, or is there
a way that he can contact you or someone who might know.
Mikey was amazing for his ultrasound and my vet was able to
get most of the measurements that he wanted.
Thank you so much for your time.
----- Original Message -----
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 11:41 PM
heart problem

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., rumtum99@s... wrote:
> I have posted a couple of times about my ferret Mikey
without a
> response, but maybe that was just as well as I was
focusing on a
> bladder infection which now seems to be the least of
> I also was confused about which of his heart rates was the
> was the problem.
> When the infection was discovered 2 weeks ago my vet was
> was why Mikey's heart did not sound right (his tonsils and
> were also enlarged at the time, but have since come down.
He also
> had a lowgrade fever). A culture was sent and the
infction proved
> be sensitive to clavamox. Last week my vet listened to
his heart
> time measured it at 240 (which if I understand is normal
for a
> ferret) then again at 170.
> Yesterday he was playing with my cats and dog, I was not
> that he was tired, but how he exhibited it. He propped
himself up
> one arm in the middle of the floor with his sides heaving.
Off we
> went to the vet again. His heart was 150. An EKG and
x-rays were
> taken. Mikey is scheduled for an ultrasound on wednesday.

> My questions are:
> 1. How serious is a slow heart rate?
> 2. Is there a chance that he might
> 3. What might cause this or would it
be a

Dear Stephanie:

The heart rate is indeed slow, but I generally would reserve
until all of the tests are in. With a heart rate of 150 and
intolerance, I would expect there to be other significant
changes in
the EKG or the X-rays. If the heart rate is pathologically
then I would expect some marked EKG changes to account for
it, such
as a heart block or some electrical disturbance that would
for the dropping of 1 of every three beats. Cardiomyopathy,
can attack the very young, generally shows some radiographic
which the X-ray would pick up in an exercise-intolerant
animal -
fluid in the chest, an enlarged heart, etc. The ultrasound
may show
something along these lines if a plain thoracic film does

If the value of 150bpm is valid, then there should be other
signs to
corroborate the diagnosis of heart disease. Without such
signs, the
HR would have to be considered a low normal for this animal.

Another condition that certainly occurred to me, as this
animal is
young and exercise intolerant, would be a case of juvenile
In young animals, this disease manifests as masses in the
which may compress the lungs over time, as well as an
enlarged spleen
and liver. You may want to discuss this possibility with
your vet
and find out why it is not currently in the differential

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM

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