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Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Ferrets

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Christensson, M. and M. Garwicz (2005). Time course of postnatal motor development in ferrets: Ontogenetic and comparative perspectives. Behavioural Brain Research 158(2): 231-242. ISSN: 0166-4328.
Descriptors: ferrets, postnatal motor development, motor behavior, rats, experimental animals, comparative study.

He, T. and S. Kiliaridis (2004). Craniofacial growth in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo)--a cephalometric study. Archives of Oral Biology 49(10): 837-848. ISSN: 0003-9969.
NAL Call Number: RK1.A6989
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: When suggesting the ferret as a valid laboratory model in craniofacial research, it is essential to know about its normal craniofacial growth. DESIGN: Sixteen ferret kits (eight male and eight female) were selected for the present investigation. Serial lateral and dorsoventral cephalograms were taken on each animal at a mean age of 25, 35, 55, 80 and 300 days. The cephalograms were then digitised and the coordinates of 33 landmarks were derived on each set of cephalograms. Thirty-four variables were then calculated on each set of cephalograms by computer image programs with the coordinate data. Results were analysed statistically, and the craniofacial growth pattern and related sexual dimorphism were described in three perspectives: lateral and dorsoventral viscero- and neurocranium, and lateral mandible. FINDINGS: In both sexes, the viscero- and neurocranium follow an orderly pattern of expansive growth in three dimensions. The growth of the mandible is mainly characterised by an anteroposterior elongation of the mandibular body, an enlargement of the coronoid process, and an increase in height of the alveolar process. The growth rate varies with site. Craniofacial growth in ferrets starts to slow down and finally ceases earlier in female than in male animals.
Descriptors: ferrets, craniofacial growth, maxillofacial development, physiology, skull growth and development, cephalometry, mandible growth, sex factors, skull radiography.

He, T. and S. Kiliaridis (2003). Effects of masticatory muscle function on craniofacial morphology in growing ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). European Journal of Oral Sciences 111(6): 510-517. ISSN: 0909-8836.
Abstract: Studying the effects of masticatory muscle function on craniofacial morphology in animal models with different masticatory systems is important for further understanding of related issues in humans. Forty 5-wk-old male ferrets were equally divided into two groups. One group was fed a diet of hard pellets (HDG) and the other group was fed the same diet but softened with water (SDG). Lateral and dorsoventral cephalograms were taken on each group after 6 months. Cephalometric measurements were performed by digital procedures. For SDG ferrets, the hard palate plane was more distant from the cranial base plane, and canines were more proclined compared with HDG ferrets. The SDG ferrets were also found to have smaller interfrontal and interparietal widths, and a slenderer zygomatic arch than the HDG ferrets. In the mandible, the coronoid process was generally shorter and narrower for the SDG ferrets. The effects of the altered masticatory muscle function on craniofacial morphology in growing ferrets seemed to differ from those previously reported in other animal models studied under similar experimental conditions. Such differences in the effects are presumably related to the differences in the mode of mastication, craniofacial anatomy and growth pattern in different animal models.
Descriptors: ferret growth and development, mastication, masticatory muscles, maxillofacial development, skull growth and development, feed, nutrition, facial bones, mandible.

Hoefer, H.L. (2004). The biology and husbandry of the pet ferret. In: Small animal and exotics Book two: Pain management zoonosis Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference., January 17, 2004-January 21, 2004, Orlando, Florida, USA., Eastern States Veterinary Association: Gainesville, USA, Vol. 18, p. 1383-1384.
Descriptors: ferrets, behavior, housing, husbandry, nutrition, clinical examination, diet, Mustela.

Marini, R.P., G. Otto, S. Erdman, L. Palley and J.G. Fox (2002). Biology and diseases of ferrets. In: J.G. Fox, L.C. Anderson, F.M. Loew and F.W. Quimby (Editors), Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2nd edition, Academic Press: London, UK, p. 483-517. ISBN: 0122639510.
Descriptors: ferrets, diseases, biology, parasites.

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