Message Number: YG11396 | New FHL Archives Search
From: dr_bruce_williams
Date: 2002-02-23 18:37:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Dr. WILLIAMS > "stroke"

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "nlchipman" <nicole@m...> wrote:
However, on a different message board, frequented by
> another renouned small animal doctor, I read an article on the
> subject that differentiates stroke from something she
> termed "cardiovascular disease", or a blood clot in the hind legs
> resulting from a disturbance in the flow of the vena cava. Is
> a difference, and is the later more common in ferrets? This would
> be of particular interest to me, since Snoop's surgery was an
> adrenalectomy. Could the vena cava have "thrown a clot", and if so
> would the loss of use of his legs and bladder have been progressive
> (3-4 days) or sudden

Dear Nicole:

Thrombosis is uncommon in ferrets as well, but I have seen a couple.
The type of thrombosis that would result in loss of hindleg use is
generally the result of cardiomyopathy, and the clot that is thrown
impedes flow at the distal aorta (which supplies the legs.) In these
cases, loss of hindleg function occurs within minutes to hours, legs
become hard, swollen and cold, and no pulse is felt.

Because the direction of blood flow is toward the heart in veins, it
isn't possible for the vena cava to "throw a clot" that would affect
the hind legs.

The term cardiovascular disease simply means any disease of the heart
or vessels. Cardiomyopathy is the most common form of cardiovascular
disease in ferrets.

I think that it is highly unlikely that the loss of hindlimb function
that your ferret has experienced is the result of thrombosis.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM