Message Number: YG4722 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Mike Janke
Date: 2001-06-20 18:13:00 UTC
Subject: Re: 4 month old ferret with heart problem

I suggest you have your vet consult with Ronald Burk, DVM, Veterinary
Radiology Services of South Florida at 305-437-9630.

Dr. Burk is a board certified radiologist. He came to our shelter a
few years back and performed an ultrasound on about 100 ferrets to
help develop guidelines for values on the ferret heart.

He might be a good source of the information your vet needs.


--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Steph" <rumtum99@s...> wrote:
> 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.
> Stephanie
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bruce Williams, DVM
> To: Ferret-Health-list@y...
> Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 11:41 PM
> Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: 4 month old ferret with heart
> --- 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
> > bladder infection which now seems to be the least of Mikey's
> worries.
> > I also was confused about which of his heart rates was the one
> which
> > was the problem.
> > When the infection was discovered 2 weeks ago my vet was hoping
> that
> > was why Mikey's heart did not sound right (his tonsils and
> > were also enlarged at the time, but have since come down. He
> > had a lowgrade fever). A culture was sent and the infction
> to
> > be sensitive to clavamox. Last week my vet listened to his
> one
> > 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
> on
> > one arm in the middle of the floor with his sides heaving. Off
> > went to the vet again. His heart was 150. An EKG and x-rays
> > 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
> this?
> > 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
> the EKG or the X-rays. If the heart rate is pathologically slow,
> then I would expect some marked EKG changes to account for it,
> 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
> something along these lines if a plain thoracic film does not.
> If the value of 150bpm is valid, then there should be other signs
> corroborate the diagnosis of heart disease. Without such signs,
> HR would have to be considered a low normal for this animal.
> Another condition that certainly occurred to me, as this animal
> young and exercise intolerant, would be a case of juvenile
> In young animals, this disease manifests as masses in the chest,
> which may compress the lungs over time, as well as an enlarged
> and liver. You may want to discuss this possibility with your
> and find out why it is not currently in the differential list.
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce Williams, DVM
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