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Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Ferrets


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Diseases

Allison, N. (2006). Biliary cystadenomatosis in a ferret. Veterinary Medicine 101(4): 199-200. ISSN: 8750-7943.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 M69
Descriptors: ferret, disease, biliary cystadenomatosis.

Angella, P.R.A., K.A. Margit, and H. Gyula (2004). A vadaszgoreny (Mustela putorius furo) nemi mukodese, valamint gyakoribb ivarszervi es hormonalis megbetegedesei -irodalmi attekintes 4. Endokrin eredetu bokelvaltozasok, hormonalis megbetegedesek. [Reproduction, genital malfunctions and endocrine disorders of domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo): Literature review. 4. Endocrine skin lesions, hormonal diseases]. Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 126(9): 553-560. ISSN: 0025-004X.
Descriptors: endocrine system, tumor biology, endocrine disease, pathology, metabolic disease, adrenal, metabolic disease, epidemiology, neoplastic disease.
Language of Text: Hungarian.

Antinoff, N. and K. Hahn (2004). Ferret oncology: Diseases, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 7(3): 579-625, Vi. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Many standard diagnostic and chemotherapeutic protocols can be adapted for use in ferrets. Unique anatomic and clinical features dictate modification of protocols, but should not prohibit diagnosis or treatment. Ferrets may be the easiest of nontraditional species to treat with chemotherapeutics. We can provide more options for our patients, with improved quality of life and longer survival times than ever before. Although clients are never happy to hear the diagnosis of "cancer," it is no longer a word that condemns their beloved pet.
Descriptors: ferrets, neoplasms, diagnosis, diseases, oncology, chemotherapeutics.

Benoit Biancamano, M.O., M. Morin, and I. Langlois (2005). Histopathologic lesions of diabetes mellitus in a domestic ferret. Canadian Veterinary Journal 46(10): 895-897. ISSN: 0008-5286.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 R3224
Descriptors: ferrets, diabetes mellitus, animal diseases, histopathology, lesions animal, case studies, drug therapy, insulin, microscopy, fatty liver, islets of Langerhans, acidosis, ketones, pets, diet, breakfast cereals.
Language of Text: English; Summary in French.

Burns, R., E.S. Williams, D. O'Toole, and J.P. Dubey (2003). Toxoplasma gondii infections in captive black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), 1992-1998: Clinical signs, serology, pathology, and prevention. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39(4): 787-797. ISSN: 0090-3558.
NAL Call Number: 41.9 W648
Abstract: An epizootic of toxoplasmosis occurred among 22 adult and 30 kit black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) maintained under quarantine conditions at the Louisville Zoological Garden (Louisville, Kentucky, USA) in June, 1992. Black-footed ferrets appear to be highly susceptible to acute and chronic toxoplasmosis. Clinical signs were observed in 19 adults and six kits and included anorexia, lethargy, corneal edema, and ataxia. Two adults and six kits died with acute disease. High antibody titers to Toxoplasma gondii were detected by latex agglutination and modified agglutination assay in 10 black-footed ferrets. One adult and six kits that died with acute clinical signs were necropsied and T. gondii-like organisms were found microscopically in multiple organs. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti-T. gondii antibodies and by ultrastructural examination. Although the source of T. gondii for black-footed ferrets was not identified, frozen uncooked rabbit was the most likely source. Chronic toxoplasmosis resulted in the death of at additional 13 black-footed ferrets that were adults during the epizootic. Affected animals developed chronic progressive posterior weakness and posterior ataxia 6-69 mo after the epizootic began. Meningoencephalitis or meningoencephalomyelitis associated with chronic toxoplasmosis were identified at necropsy in all 13 ferrets. Precautions to prevent introduction of pathogens into the colony were insufficient to exclude T. gondii. Although toxoplasmosis may cause significant mortality in mustelids, the high mortality of black-footed ferrets in this epizootic was of concern due to their endangered status. This is the first detailed report of toxoplasmosis in black-footed ferrets.
Descriptors: ferrets, antibodies, blood protozoan, toxoplasmosis, agglutination tests, immunohistochemistry, Kentucky, latex fixation tests, liver parasitology.

Burr, D.H., D. Rollins, L.H. Lee, D.L. Pattarini, S.S. Walz, J.H. Tian, J.L. Pace, A.L. Bourgeois, and R.I. Walker (2005). Prevention of disease in ferrets fed an inactivated whole cell Campylobacter jejuni vaccine. Vaccine 23(34): 4315-4321. ISSN: 0264-410X.
NAL Call Number: QR189.V32
Abstract: Ferrets were used to demonstrate the potential of a killed whole cell vaccine prepared from Campylobacter jejuni to protect against disease. C. jejuni strain 81-176 was grown in BHI broth, formalin-fixed, and resuspended in PBS to a concentration of 10(10) cells per ml. This vaccine (CWC) or live organisms were delivered orally with a nasogastric tube into anesthetized animals treated to reduce gastric acidity and intestinal motility. When 5x10(10) CFU of the vaccine strain (Lior serotype 5) or one of two other serotypes, CGL-7 (Lior 4) or BT44 (Lior 9), was used to challenge the ferrets, all of the animals developed a mucoid diarrhea. If the animals had been challenged with 5x10(9) CFU of the homologous strain 1 month before challenge with 10(10) CFU, 80-100% protection against disease was seen. This protection was also obtained after an initial exposure to the 81-176 strain followed by challenge with either of the heterologous strains. CWC was used to see if protection demonstrated with the live organisms could be produced with the non-living preparation. When 10(9) cells of CWC was given as two doses 7 days apart with or without 25mug of a coadministered mucosal adjuvant, LT(R192G), only 40-60% of the animals were protected. If the regimen was changed to four doses given 48h apart, 80% of the animals were free of diarrhea after subsequent challenge. Increasing the number of cells in the four dose regimen to 10(10) cells did not improve protection. Animals given four doses of 10(10) cells combined with LT(R192G) were subsequently challenged with 10(10) cells of the homologous strain or the heterologous strain CGL-7. The CWC protected against both strains. Serum IgG antibody titers determined by ELISA showed little increase following the CWC four dose vaccination regimen, compared to animals given one dose of the live organism. On subsequent challenge, however, both CWC vaccinated and live-challenged ferrets showed comparable antibody titer increases above those obtained following the initial challenge or vaccination. Western blots were used to show that the immunodominant antigen in vaccinated animals was a 45kDa protein, while in ferrets challenged with live organisms the immunodominant antigen was a 62kDa protein. These data show that the CWC can be used to protect against disease caused by Campylobacter. They also show that protection and serum IgG responses do not depend upon the use of the mucosal adjuvant and that cross protection among some of the major serotypes of Campylobacter responsible for human disease is possible.
Descriptors: ferrets, bacterial vaccines, immunology, campylobacter infections, Campylobacter jejuni, immunoglobulin g, inactivated immunology.

Caley, P. and J. Hone (2005). Assessing the host disease status of wildlife and the implications for disease control: Mycobacterium bovis infection in feral ferrets. Journal of Applied Ecology 42(4): 708-719. ISSN: 0021-8901.
NAL Call Number: 410 J828
Descriptors: feral ferrets, disease status, disease control, assessing, implications, Mycobacterium bovis.

Carmel, B. (2006). Eosinophilic gastroenteritis in three ferrets. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 9(3): 707-712. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE) is a rarely reported condition of ferrets. This article reviews three cases of suspected EGE in ferrets, summarizes the presenting signs, differential diagnoses, and treatment options, and discusses some question raised by this disease in ferrets. Immune suppression by means of prednisolone therapy is currently the treatment of choice.
Descriptors: Ferrets, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, signs, diagnosis, treatment.

Dalrymple, E.F. (2004). Pregnancy toxemia in a ferret. Canadian Veterinary Journal 45(2): 150-152. ISSN: 0008-5286.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 R3224
Abstract: A late-gestation jill was presented for depression, anorexia, and weakness. The working diagnosis became pregnancy toxemia. Supportive care was initiated and an emergency cesarian section performed. Twelve live kits were delivered; however, all soon perished despite home care. Surgery and recovery are discussed, including information regarding pregnancy toxemia in general.
Descriptors: ferrets, cesarean section, pre eclampsia, nutrition, newborn, diagnosis, differential, hysterectomy, ovariectomy, surgery, pregnancy outcome.

de Lisle, G.W., G.F. Yates, P. Caley, and R.J. Corboy (2005). Surveillance of wildlife for Mycobacterium bovis infection using culture of pooled tissue samples from ferrets (Mustela furo). New Zealand Veterinary Journal 53(1): 14-18. ISSN: 0048-0169.
Abstract: AIM: To compare culture results of homogenates of pooled lymph nodes from individual ferrets with and without macroscopic lesions of bovine tuberculosis for the presence of Mycobacterium bovis, and to determine whether homogenates from 10-30 ferrets could be combined and cultured without loss of sensitivity as a possible method for improving cost-effectiveness of surveillance for M. bovis infection in wildlife populations. METHODS: Numbers of colony forming units (cfu) of M. bovis present in cultures of homogenates of pooled lymph nodes from individual ferrets known to be infected and having no visible lesions (NVL) or macroscopic lesions consistent with bovine tuberculosis were determined. Prevalences of M. bovis infection in populations of ferrets in the Marlborough region of the South Island of New Zealand were determined by culturing homogenates of pooled lymph nodes from individual animals. Samples from homogenates from North Canterbury were combined to form pools representing 10, 20 and 30 animals and also cultured for M. bovis. RESULTS: Fewer M. bovis cfu were isolated from ferrets with NVL (mean=0.77 log10) compared with ferrets with macroscopic lesions (mean=3.22 log10; p<0.05). The mean prevalence of infection in eight different surveys involving 427 ferrets from the Marlborough region was 18% (range 8-44%), which included a small number of animals with macroscopic lesions of tuberculosis. Pooling of samples from up to 30 different ferrets with NVL did not reduce the sensitivity of detecting M. bovis infected populations. CONCLUSION: Culturing of pools of lymph node samples detected a significant proportion of M. bovis-infected ferrets that would otherwise have gone unnoticed based on samples that had only macroscopic lesions. Culturing of samples pooled from up to 30 different ferrets could provide significant cost savings in surveys of wildlife for the presence of M. bovis infection without any apparent loss of sensitivity.
Descriptors: bacteriological techniques, ferrets, Mycobacterium bovis, tuberculosis, wild animals, New Zealand, population surveillance, predictive value of tests.

Garcia, A., S.E. Erdman, S. Xu, Y. Feng, A.B. Rogers, M.D. Schrenzel, J.C. Murphy, and J.G. Fox (2002). Hepatobiliary inflammation, neoplasia, and argyrophilic bacteria in a ferret colony. Veterinary Pathology 39(2): 173-179. ISSN: 0300-9858.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 P27
Abstract: Hepatobiliary disease was diagnosed in eight of 34 genetically unrelated cohabitating pet ferrets (Mustela putorios furo) during a 7-year period. The eight ferrets ranged in age from 5 to 8 years and exhibited chronic cholangiohepatitis coupled with cellular proliferation ranging from hyperplasia to frank neoplasia. Spiral-shaped argyrophilic bacteria were demonstrated in livers of three ferrets, including two with carcinoma. Sequence analysis of a 400-base pair polymerase chain reaction product amplified from DNA derived from fecal bacteria from one ferret demonstrated 98% and 97% similarity to Helicobacter cholecystus and Helicobacter sp. strain 266-1 , respectively. The clustering of severe hepatic disease in these cohabitating ferroes suggests a possible infectious etiology. The role of Helicobacter species and other bacteria in hepatitis and/or neoplasia in ferrets requires further study.
Descriptors: ferrets, helicobacter infections, Helicobacter pylori, liver diseases, bile duct neoplasms, biliary tract diseases, cholangiocarcinoma, cystadenoma, bacterial DNA, hepatitis, hyperplasia, immunohistochemistry, liver microbiology.

Garner, M.M. (2003). Focus on diseases of ferrets. Exotic DVM 5(3): 75-80. ISSN: 1521-1363.
NAL Call Number: SF981 .E96
Descriptors: ferrets, diseases, clinical aspects, glomerulonephritis, lymphatic diseases, mycobacterial diseases, neoplasms, otitis externa, infections.
Notes: International conference on exotics (ICE2003), Palm Beach, Florida, USA, 2003.

Garner, M.M., J.T. Raymond, T.D. O'Brien, and R.W. Nordhausen (2004). Amyloidosis in the black footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). In: Proceedings: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, Wildlife Disease Association: Health and Conservation of Captive and Free-Ranging Wildlife, August 28, 2004-September 3, 2004, San Diego, California, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians: 185-187 p.
Descriptors: Mustela nigripes, amyloidosis, occurrence in captivity, black footed ferrets, veterinary medicine.

Good, K.L. (2002). Ocular disorders of pet ferrets. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 5(2): 325-339. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Ocular disorders in pet ferrets are becoming more widely recognized as the popularity of these animals as companions increases. Knowledge of the anatomy of ferrets and a thorough examination are critical to accurately diagnosing ocular disease. If recognized early, some conditions can be managed successfully. Veterinarians should continue to report ocular conditions that are encountered in this species to help increase knowledge about these disorders.
Descriptors: ferrets, eye anatomy, eye diseases, ferrets anatomy, conjunctivitis, glaucoma diagnosis, ophthalmology.

Govorkova, E.A., J.E. Rehg, S. Krauss, H.L. Yen, Y. Guan, M. Peiris, T.D. Nguyen, T.H. Hanh, P. Puthavathana, H.T. Long, C. Buranathai, W. Lim, R.G. Webster, and E. Hoffman (2006). Lethality to Ferrets of H5N1 Influenza Viruses Isolated from Humans and Poultry in 2004. Journal of Virology 80(12): 6195. ISSN: 0022-538X.
NAL Call Number: QR360.J6
Descriptors: ferrets, influenza virus, H5N1, humans, poultry, leathality.

Govorkova, E.A., J.E. Rehg, S. Krauss, H.L. Yen, Y. Guan, M. Peiris, T.D. Nguyen, T.H. Hanh, P. Puthavathana, H.T. Long, C. Buranathai, W. Lim, R.G. Webster, and E. Hoffmann (2005). Lethality to ferrets of H5N1 influenza viruses isolated from humans and poultry in 2004. Journal of Virology 79(4): 2191-2198. ISSN: 0022-538X.
NAL Call Number: QR360.J6
Abstract: The 2004 outbreaks of H5N1 influenza viruses in Vietnam and Thailand were highly lethal to humans and to poultry; therefore, newly emerging avian influenza A viruses pose a continued threat, not only to avian species but also to humans. We studied the pathogenicity of four human and nine avian H5N1/04 influenza viruses in ferrets (an excellent model for influenza studies). All four human isolates were fatal to intranasally inoculated ferrets. The human isolate A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1) was the most pathogenic isolate; the severity of disease was associated with a broad tissue tropism and high virus titers in multiple organs, including the brain. High fever, weight loss, anorexia, extreme lethargy, and diarrhea were observed. Two avian H5N1/04 isolates were as pathogenic as the human viruses, causing lethal systemic infections in ferrets. Seven of nine H5N1/04 viruses isolated from avian species caused mild infections, with virus replication restricted to the upper respiratory tract. All chicken isolates were nonlethal to ferrets. A sequence analysis revealed polybasic amino acids in the hemagglutinin connecting peptides of all H5N1/04 viruses, indicating that multiple molecular differences in other genes are important for a high level of virulence. Interestingly, the human A/Vietnam/1203/04 isolate had a lysine substitution at position 627 of PB2 and had one to eight amino acid changes in all gene products except that of the M1 gene, unlike the A/chicken/Vietnam/C58/04 and A/quail/Vietnam/36/04 viruses. Our results indicate that viruses that are lethal to mammals are circulating among birds in Asia and suggest that pathogenicity in ferrets, and perhaps humans, reflects a complex combination of different residues rather than a single amino acid difference.
Descriptors: ferrets, influenza virus, genetics, mortality, avian pathogenicity, orthomyxoviridae pathogenicity, influenza pathology, influenza A virus, avian classification, poultry diseases.

Govorkova, E.A., R.J. Webby, J. Humberd, J.P. Seiler, and R.G. Webster (2006). Immunization with reverse-genetics-produced H5N1 influenza vaccine protects ferrets against homologous and heterologous challenge. Journal of Infectious Diseases 194(2): 159-167. ISSN: 0022-1899.
NAL Call Number: 448.8 J821
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Multiple cases of transmission of avian H5N1 influenza viruses to humans illustrate the urgent need for an efficacious, cross-protective vaccine. METHODS: Ferrets were immunized with inactivated whole-virus vaccine produced by reverse genetics with the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase genes of A/HK/213/03 virus. Ferrets received a single dose of vaccine (7 or 15 microg of HA) with aluminum hydroxide adjuvant or 2 doses (7 microg of HA each) without adjuvant and were challenged with 10(6) 50% egg infectious doses of A/HK/213/03, A/HK/156/97, or A/Vietnam/1203/04 virus. RESULTS: One or 2 doses of vaccine induced a protective antibody response to the vaccine strain. All immunization regimens completely protected ferrets from challenge with homologous wild-type A/HK/213/03 virus: no clinical signs of infection were observed, virus replication was significantly reduced (P<.05) and was restricted to the upper respiratory tract, and spread of virus to the brain was prevented. Importantly, all vaccinated ferrets were protected against lethal challenge with the highly pathogenic strain A/Vietnam/1203/04. The 2-dose schedule induced higher levels of antibodies that were cross-reactive to antigenically distinct H5N1 viruses. CONCLUSIONS: H5N1 vaccines may stimulate an immune response that is more cross-protective than what might be predicted by in vitro assays and, thus, hold potential for being stockpiled as "initial" pandemic vaccines.
Descriptors: ferrets, immunology, virology, influenza A virus, H5N1, vaccines, orthomyxoviridae infections.
Notes: Comment In: J Infect Dis. 2006 Jul 15;194(2):143-5.

Greenacre, C.B. (2003). Fungal diseases of ferrets. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 6(2): 435-448, Viii. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Although fungal disease in ferrets is uncommon, a few cases have been documented, demonstrating that it should be on the clinician's rule out list, especially if the patient has a long-term illness that is not responding appropriately to antibiotics, as was the clinical presentation in many of these documented cases.
Descriptors: ferrets, mycoses, diagnosis, drug therapy, prognosis, fungal diseases.

Hampson, A.W. (2006). Ferrets and the challenges of H5N1 vaccine formulation. Journal of Infectious Diseases 194(2): 143-145. ISSN: 0022-1899.
NAL Call Number: 448.8 J821
Descriptors: ferrets, immunology, virology, influenza A virus, H5N1, influenza vaccines, biosynthesis, vaccines, orthomyxoviridae infections.
Notes: Comment On: J Infect Dis. 2006 Jul 15;194(2):159-67.

Hanley, C. S, P. MacWilliams, S. Giles, and J. Pare (2006). Diagnosis and successful treatment of Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii in a domestic ferret. Canadian Veterinary Journal 47(10): 1015-1017. ISSN: 0008-5286.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 R3224
Abstract: A domestic ferret was presented for episodic regurgitation. Cytologic examination and culture of an enlarged submandibular lymph node revealed Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii (serotype A). The ferret was successfully treated with itraconazole. This is the first documented case of Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii in a ferret in the United States.
Descriptors: ferret, Cryptococcus neoformans, diagnosis, treatment.

Hernandez Divers, S.J. (2005). Respiratory diseases of rabbits and ferrets. In: Small animal and exotics: Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. January 8, 2005-January 12, 2005, Orlando, Florida, USA., Eastern States Veterinary Association: Gainesville, USA, Vol. 19, p. 1326-1329.
Online: http://www.navc.org
Descriptors: ferrets, rabbits, respiratory diseases, diagnosis, treatment, conference.

Iwata, K., Y. Kuwahara, and N. Kuwahara (2002). Two cases of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets. Journal of the Japan Veterinary Medical Association 55(3): 163-165. ISSN: 0446-6454.
Abstract: Because of high serum levels of 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, two ferrets with bilateral symmetrical alopecia of the trunk were tentatively diagnosed as having hyperadrenocorticism. Abdominal computed tomography revealed no obvious adrenal enlargement in either animal. In case 1, treatment with danazol followed by cyproterone acetate produced no fur recovery. Histopathological examinations revealed adrenocortical carcinoma in both animals. In about a month and a half after tumid left adrenal resection, both ferrets' fur had completely recovered. The animals continue in good condition at the present. In case 1, serum 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone has dropped to the normal range.
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal glands, endocrine diseases, animal glands, endocrine glands, Mustelidae.
Language of Text: Japanese.

Jacobs, K.M. (2004). A ferret model of microgyria: The effect of varying lesion days. Epilepsia 45(Suppl. 7): 44. ISSN: 0013-9580.
Descriptors: ferrets as animal models, microgyria, varying lesions, nervous system diseases, epilepsy.
Notes: 58th Annual Meeting of the American-Epilepsy-Society, New Orleans, LA, USA; December 03 -07, 2004.

Johnson Delaney, C.A. (2005). The ferret gastrointestinal tract and Helicobacter mustelae infection. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 8(2): 197-212. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Descriptors: ferrets, microbiology, gastrointestinal tract, helicobacter infections, Helicobacter mustelae pathogenicity, biliary tract, disease models, pancreas, exocrine physiology.

Johnson Delaney, C.A. (2004). Medical therapies for ferret adrenal disease. Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine 13(1): 3-7. ISSN: 1055-937X.
NAL Call Number: SF994.2.A1536
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal gland diseases, adrenalectomy, medical therapies, surgical operations, neoplasia, symptoms.

Johnson Delaney, C.A. (2002). Update on ferret adrenal research. Exotic DVM 4(3): 61-64. ISSN: 1521-1363.
NAL Call Number: SF981 .E96
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal gland diseases, research, update, histopathology, neoplasms, surgical operations, therapy.
Notes: 4th Annual international conference on exotics (ICE2002), Key West, Florida, USA, 2002.

Kottwitz, J.J., V. Luis Fuentes, and B. Micheal (2006). Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 37(2): 197-201. ISSN: 1042-7260.
NAL Call Number: SF601.J6
Descriptors: ferret, thrombotic endocarditis, nonbacterial, pelvic limb ataxia, cardiac murmur, pathology, clinical aspects, diagnosis, endocarditis, histopathology, postmortem examinations.

Langlois, I. (2005). Viral diseases of ferrets. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 8(1): 139-160. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Distemper and rabies vaccination are highly recommended because of the almost invariable fatal outcome of these conditions. Vaccination should constitute an important part of a ferret's preventative medicine program. With the current and anticipated development and licensing of new vaccines, practitioners are invited to gain awareness of the latest vaccine information. Establishment of a practice vaccination protocol with regards to the site of administration of rabies and distemper vaccines is paramount to document any future abnormal tissue reactions. Influenza is the most common zoonotic disease that is seen in ferrets. Although it generally is benign in most ferrets, veterinarians must take this condition seriously. The characteristic continuous antigenic variation of this virus may lead to more virulent strains; the recent emergence of avian influenza virus outbreaks; and the increased susceptibility of elderly, young, and immunosuppressed individuals.
Descriptors: ferrets, viral diseases, distemper, rabies vaccination.

Lennox, A.M. (2005). Gastrointestinal diseases of the ferret. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 8(2): 213-225. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Descriptors: ferrets, gastrointestinal diseases, age factors, diagnosis, differential, foreign bodies, complications, etiology.

Lester, S.J., N.J. Kowalewich, K.H. Bartlett, M.B. Krockenberger, T.M. Fairfax, and R. Malik (2004). Clinicopathologic features of an unusual outbreak of cryptococcosis in dogs, cats, ferrets, and a bird: 38 cases (January to July 2003). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 225(11): 1716-1722. ISSN: 0003-1488.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 Am3
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine clinical and pathologic findings associated with an outbreak of cryptococcosis in an unusual geographic location (British Columbia, Canada). DESIGN: Retrospective study. ANIMALS: 1 pink-fronted cockatoo, 2 ferrets, 20 cats, and 15 dogs. PROCEDURE: A presumptive diagnosis of cryptococcosis was made on the basis of serologic, histopathologic, or cytologic findings, and a definitive diagnosis was made on the basis of culture or immunohistochemical staining. RESULTS: No breed or sex predilections were detected in affected dogs or cats. Eleven cats had neurologic signs, 7 had skin lesions, and 5 had respiratory tract signs. None of 17 cats tested serologically for FeLV yielded positive results; 1 of 17 cats yielded positive results for FIV (western blot). Nine of 15 dogs had neurologic signs, 2 had periorbital swellings, and only 3 had respiratory tract signs initially. Microbiologic culture in 15 cases yielded 2 isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans var grubii (serotype A) and 13 isolates of C. neoformans var gattii (serotype B); all organisms were susceptible to amphotericin B and ketoconazole. Serologic testing had sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 98%. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Serologic titers were beneficial in identifying infection in animals with nonspecific signs, but routine serum biochemical or hematologic parameters were of little value in diagnosis. Most animals had nonspecific CNS signs and represented a diagnostic challenge. Animals that travel to or live in this region and have nonspecific malaise or unusual neurologic signs should be evaluated for cryptococcosis.
Descriptors: ferrets, dogs, cats, birds, epidemiology, diseases, cockatoos, cryptosporidiosis, amphotericin b, antifungal agents, bird diseases, drug therapy, cat diseases, cryptosporidiosis, disease outbreaks, dog diseases, ketoconazole, retrospective studies, treatment outcomes.

Lunn, J.A., P. Martin, S. Zaki, and R. Malik (2005). Pneumonia due to Mycobacterium abscessus in two domestic ferrets (Mustelo putorius furo). Australian Veterinary Journal 83(9): 542-546. ISSN: 0005-0423.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 Au72
Abstract: Two ferrets were diagnosed with pneumonia due to Mycobacterium abscessus. Both cases were treated successfully using clarithromycin after positive cultures were obtained via unguided bronchoalveolar lavage. This is the first time M abscessus has been isolated in our laboratory and the first report of this organism causing disease in companion animals in Australia. Underlying respiratory tract disease was thought to be an important factor in the development of the infections. Thorough investigation of chronic lower respiratory tract disease in ferrets is recommended as this species appears predisposed to atypical infections.
Descriptors: ferrets, anti-bacterial agents, mycobacterium infections, bacterial pneumonia, bronchoalveolar lavage, fluid microbiology, mycobacterium isolation, treatment outcome.

Mader, D.R. and K.L. Rosenthal (2005). Gastrointestinal diseases in ferrets. In: Small animal and exotics: Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference., January 8, 2005-January 12, 2005, Orlando, Florida, USA., Eastern States Veterinary Association: Gainesville, USA, Vol. 19, p. 1342-1344.
Online: http://www.navc.org
Descriptors: ferrets, bacterial diseases, bloat, digestive disorders, digestive tract, oesophageal diseases, parasitoses, regurgitation, ulcers, gastrointesinal.

Malik, R., B. Alderton, D. Finlaison, M.B. Krockenberger, H. Karaoglu, W. Meyer, P. Martin, M.P. France, J. McGill, S.J. Lester, C.R. O'Brien, and D.N. Love (2002). Cryptococcosis in ferrets: A diverse spectrum of clinical disease. Australian Veterinary Journal 80(12): 749-755. ISSN: 0005-0423.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 Au72
Abstract: Cryptococcosis was diagnosed in seven ferrets (five from Australia; two from western Canada) displaying a wide range of clinical signs. Two of the ferrets lived together. One (5-years-old) had cryptococcal rhinitis and presented when the infection spread to the nasal bridge. Its sibling developed cryptococcal abscessation of the right retropharyngeal lymph node 12 months later, soon after developing a severe skin condition. DNA fingerprinting and microsatellite analysis demonstrated that the two strains isolated from these siblings were indistinguishable. Two ferrets (2- to 3-years-old) developed generalised cryptococcosis: one had primary lower respiratory tract disease with pneumonia, pleurisy and mediastinal lymph node involvement, while in the other a segment of intestine was the primary focus of infection with subsequent spread to mesenteric lymph nodes, liver and lung. The remaining three ferrets (1.75 to 4-years-old) had localised disease of a distal limb, in one case with spread to the regional lymph node. Cryptococcus bacillisporus (formerly C. neoformans var gattii) accounted for three of the four infections in Australian ferrets where the biotype could be determined. The Australian ferret with intestinal involvement and the two ferrets from Vancouver had C. neoformans var grubii infections.
Descriptors: ferrets, cryptococcosis, Cryptococcus neoformans, respiratory tract infections, rhinitis, British Columbia, purification, DNA fingerprinting, microsatellite repeats, New South Wales, polymerase chain reaction, respiratory tract infections.

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.

Mayer, J. (2006). Update on adrenal gland disease in ferrets. In: Small animal and exotics: Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. January 7, 2006-January 11, 2006, Orlando, Florida, USA., The North American Veterinary Conference: Gainesville, USA, Vol. 20, p. 1744-1745.
Online: http://www.tnavc.org
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal gland diseases, update, clinical aspects, diagnosis, treatments.

Miwa, Y., S. Matsunaga, M. Ando, H. Nakayama, K. Uetsuka, H. Nakamura, and H. Ogawa (2005). Spontaneous Aleutian disease in a ferret infected with the ferret-derived Aleutian-disease virus strain. Journal of the Japan Veterinary Medical Association 58(7): 484-487. ISSN: 0446-6454.
Descriptors: ferret, Aleutian disease, spontaneous, clinical aspects.
Language of Text: Japanese; Summary in English.

Moorman Roest, J. (2005). Aleutian disease bij fretten afkomstig uit Nieuw-Zeeland. [Aleutian disease in ferrets from New Zealand]. Tijdschrift Voor Diergeneeskunde 130(13): 404-406. ISSN: 0040-7453.
Descriptors: ferrets, Aleutian disease, ferrets, viral antibodies, mink, Netherlands, New Zealand.
Language of Text: Dutch.

Morrisey, J.K. (2002). Treatment options for adrenal disease in ferrets. Veterinary Cancer Society Newsletter 26(2): 4-5.
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal diseases, treatment options, drug therapy, surgery.

Nolte, D.M., C.A. Carberry, K.M. Gannon, and F.C. Boren (2002). Temporary tube cystostomy as a treatment for urinary obstruction secondary to adrenal disease in four ferrets. The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 38(6): 527-532. ISSN: 0587-2871.
NAL Call Number: SF601.A5
Descriptors: ferrets, pets, age, adrenal gland diseases, clinical aspects, urethra, urination disorders, complications, adrenalectomy, surgery, catheterization, catheters, prostate, histopathology, pancreas, omentum, adenoma, adenocarcinoma, adrenal cortex, postoperative care, urination, small animal practice, animal hospitals.

Orcutt, C. (2003). Urogenital disease in ferrets. In: Work/Life Balance, Achieving Equilibrium OVMA Conference Proceedings 2003, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association: Milton, Canada, p. 36-40.
Descriptors: ferrets, urogenital disease, diagnosis, treatment.
Notes: Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, Conference Proceedings, January 30-February 1, 2003.

Orcutt, C.J. (2003). Ferret urogenital diseases. Veterinary Clinics of North America. Exotic Animal Practice 6(1): 113-138. ISSN: 1094-9194.
NAL Call Number: SF997.5.E95 E97
Abstract: Improved nutrition and client education have decreased the incidence of certain urinary tract diseases in ferrets. Early neutering programs at commercial breeding farms in the United States have also led to a marked decrease in the incidence of reproductive tract disease, especially estrogen-induced bone marrow suppression. However, the increased incidence of adrenal disease and its secondary effects on reproductive and associated urinary tract tissue presents an ongoing challenge for the clinician working with pet ferrets. Acute and chronic renal failure remain important, though less common, disease entities. It is imperative that the veterinarian working with pet ferrets be aware of the clinical presentation and clinicopathologic abnormalities associated with these syndromes.
Descriptors: ferrets, urogenital diseases, diagnosis, surgery, therapy, ultrasonography, nutrition, neutering, reproductive tract disease.

Patterson, M.M., A.B. Rogers, M.D. Schrenzel, R.P. Marini, and J.G. Fox (2003). Alopecia attributed to neoplastic ovarian tissue in two ferrets. Comparative Medicine 53(2): 213-217. ISSN: 1532-0820.
NAL Call Number: SF77 .C65
Abstract: Ferrets with adrenal gland dysfunction have alopecia as their most common clinical sign of disease. Two cases of alopecia in neutered female ferrets are reported that were associated instead with neoplastic tissue found at the site of an ovarian pedicle. Androstenedione and 17-hydroxyprogesterone, but not estradiol, concentrations were high in both ferrets. Following surgical resection of the abnormal tissue in one ferret, the high hormone values decreased quickly and hair regrowth ensued. In both cases, histologic examination revealed features consistent with classical sex cord-stromal (gonadostromal) tumors: prominent spindle cells, along with polyhedral epithelial cells and cells with vacuolated cytoplasm. Although similar cell types have been described in the adrenal glands of ferrets with adrenal-associated endocrinopathy, an ovarian origin for the current neoplasms is considered likely on the basis of their anatomic location; accessory adrenal tissue has only been described close to an adrenal gland or in the cranial perirenal fat of ferrets. Immunohistochemical analysis, using an antibody against Mullerian-inhibiting substance, failed to prove definitively the source of the steroidogenic cells.
Descriptors: ferrets, alopecia, adrenal gland diseases, ovarian cancer, estradiol, progesterone, androstenedione, immunohistochemistry, excision of the ovaries.

Peltola, V.T., K.L. Boyd, J.L. McAuley, J.E. Rehg, and J.A. McCullers (2006). Bacterial sinusitis and otitis media following influenza virus infection in ferrets. Infection and Immunity 74(5): 2562-2567. ISSN: 1098-5522.
NAL Call Number: QR1.I57
Abstract: Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of otitis media, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Many of these infections result from antecedent influenza virus infections. In this study we sought to determine whether the frequency and character of secondary pneumococcal infections differed depending on the strain of influenza virus that preceded bacterial challenge. In young ferrets infected with influenza virus and then challenged with pneumococcus, influenza viruses of any subtype increased bacterial colonization of the nasopharynx. Nine out of 10 ferrets infected with H3N2 subtype influenza A viruses developed either sinusitis or otitis media, while only 1 out of 11 ferrets infected with either an H1N1 influenza A virus or an influenza B virus did so. These data may partially explain why bacterial complication rates are higher during seasons when H3N2 viruses predominate. This animal model will be useful for further study of the mechanisms that underlie viral-bacterial synergism.
Descriptors: ferrets, bacterial infection, virus infection, sinusitis, pneumonia, viral-bacterial synergism.

Pennick, K.E., M.A. Stevenson, K.S. Latimer, B.W. Ritchie, and C.R. Gregory (2005). Persistent viral shedding during asymptomatic Aleutian mink disease parvoviral infection in a ferret. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 17(6): 594-597. ISSN: 1040-6387.
NAL Call Number: SF774.J68
Abstract: A 2-year-old domestic ferret that appeared clinically healthy was repeatedly seropositive for Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV) over a 2-year observation period. Antibody titers, determined by counter-immunoelectrophoresis, ranged from 1024 to 4096. Viral DNA also was identified in serum, urine, feces, and blood cell fractions by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Ultimately, DNA in situ hybridization revealed ADV DNA in histologic sections of various tissues and organs. These data indicate that this asymptomatic ferret was persistently infected with ADV.
Descriptors: ferrets, Aleutian mink disease, virology, carrier state, virus shedding, antibodies, blood, physiopathology, DNA, physiology, kidney, liver, lung, spleen, urine.

Prohaczik, A., K. Fodor, M. Kulcsar, and G. Huszenicza (2004). A vadaszgoreny (Mustela putorius furo) nemi mukodese, valamint gyakoribb ivarszervi es hormonalis megbetegedesei. Irodalmi attekintes. 1. A faj bemutatasa, taplalasa es ivari mukodesenek elettana. [Reproduction, genital malfunctions and endocrine disorders of domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo). Literature review. 1. Biology, zootaxonomy, nutrition and physiology of reproduction]. Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 126(6): 353-363. ISSN: 0025-004X.
Descriptors: ferret, biology, endocrine diseases, female genital diseases, nutrition, reproduction, reviews, taxonomy.
Language of Text: Hungarian; Summary in English.

Prohaczik, A., M. Kulcsar, and G. Huszenicza (2004). A vadaszgoreny (Mustela putorius furo) nemi mukodese, valamint gyakoribb ivarszervi es hormonalis megbetegedesei. Irodalmi attekintes. 2. Ivarszervi mukodeszavarok, megbetegedesek. [Reproduction, genital malfunctions and endocrine disorders of domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo). Literature review. 2. Pathology of reproduction]. Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja 126(6): 364-369. ISSN: 0025-004X.
Descriptors: ferret, genital diseases, endocrine disorders, genital malfunctions, pregnancy, pyometra, reproductive disorders, reviews, pathology.
Language of Text: Hungarian; Summary in English.

Ramer, J.C., K.G. Benson, J.K. Morrisey, R.T. O'brien, and J. Paul Murphy (2006). Effects of melatonin administration on the clinical course of adrenocortical disease in domestic ferrets. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 229(11): 1743-1748. ISSN: 0003-1488.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 Am3
Abstract: Objective-To evaluate the effect of oral administration of melatonin on clinical signs, tumor size, and serum steroid hormone concentrations in ferrets with adrenocortical disease. Design-Noncontrolled clinical trial. Animals-10 adult ferrets with clinical signs of adrenocortical disease (confirmed via serum steroid hormone concentration assessments). Procedures-Melatonin (0.5 mg) was administered orally to ferrets once daily for 1 year. At 4-month intervals, a complete physical examination; abdominal ultrasonographic examination (including adrenal gland measurement); CBC; serum biochemical analyses; and assessment of serum estradiol, androstenedione, and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations were performed. Serum prolactin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations were evaluated at the first, second, and last examinations, and serum cortisol concentration was evaluated at the first and last examinations. Results-Daily oral administration of melatonin greatly affected clinical signs of adrenocortical disease in ferrets; changes included hair regrowth, decreased pruritus, increased activity level and appetite, and decreased vulva or prostate size. Mean width of the abnormally large adrenal glands was significantly increased after the 12-month treatment period. Recurrence of clinical signs was detected in 6 ferrets at the 8-month evaluation. Compared with pretreatment values, serum 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and prolactin concentrations were significantly increased and decreased after 12 months, respectively. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggest that melatonin is a useful, easily administered, palliative treatment to decrease clinical signs associated with adrenocortical disease in ferrets, and positive effects of daily treatment were evident for at least an 8-month period. Oral administration of melatonin did not decrease adrenal gland tumor growth in treated ferrets.
Descriptors: domestic ferrets, adrenocortical disease, melatonin, clinical signs.

Rosenthal, K.L. (2006). Feeding the hypoglycemic ferret. In: Small animal and exotics Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference. January 7, 2006-January 11, 2006, Orlando, Florida, USA., The North American Veterinary Conference: Gainesville, USA, Vol. 20, p. 1766.
Online: http://www.tnavc.org
Descriptors: feeding, ferret feeding, hypoglycemia.

Saunders, G.K. and B.V. Thomsen (2006). Lymphoma and Mycobacterium avium infection in a ferret (Mustela putorius furo). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 18(5): 513-515. ISSN: 1040-6387.
NAL Call Number: SF774.J68
Abstract: A 6-year-old, neutered male ferret presented with weight loss. Radiography revealed an enlarged liver and other abdominal masses. The ferret was euthanized, and at necropsy, the stomach wall was thickened, mesenteric lymph nodes were enlarged, and the liver contained multifocal tan nodules. Histopathology confirmed lymphoma and granulomatous inflammation in all affected organs. Acid-fast bacilli were present in the lesions and were confirmed to be Mycobacterium avium by PCR.
Descriptors: ferrets, lymphoma, Mycobacterium avium, tuberculosis, fatal outcome, histocytochemistry, lymphoma.

Schoemaker, N.J. and P.G. Fisher (2004). Hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets: An interpretive summary. Exotic DVM 6(1): 43-45. ISSN: 1521-1363.
NAL Call Number: SF981 .E96
Descriptors: ferrets, hyperadrenalcorticism, adrenal glands, clinical aspects, gonadectomy, hormone secretion, LH, summary.

Schoemaker, N.J., M.H. Hage van der, G. Flik, J.T. Lumeij, and A. Rijnberk (2004). Morphology of the pituitary gland in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with hyperadrenocorticism. Journal of Comparative Pathology 130(4): 255-265. ISSN: 0021-9975.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 J82
Descriptors: ferrets, diseases, adrenal glands, histopathology, neoplasms, physiopathology, pituitary, morphology.

Schoemaker, N.J., J.T. Lumeij, and A. Rijnberk (2005). Current and future alternatives to surgical neutering in ferrets to prevent hyperadrenocorticism. Veterinary Medicine 100(7): 484-485, 488, 490, 492, 495-496. ISSN: 8750-7943.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 M69
Descriptors: ferrets, hyperadrenocorticism, surgical neutering, alternatives, diseases.

Schoemaker, N.J., K.J. Teerds, J.A. Mol, J.T. Lumeij, J.H. Thijssen, and A. Rijnberk (2002). The role of luteinizing hormone in the pathogenesis of hyperadrenocorticism in neutered ferrets. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 197(1-2): 117-125. ISSN: 0303-7207.
Abstract: Four studies were performed to test the hypothesis that gonadotrophic hormones, and particularly luteinizing hormone (LH) play a role in the pathogenesis of ferrets: (I) adrenal glands of ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism were studied immunohistochemically to detect LH-receptors (LH-R); (II) gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation tests were performed in 10 neutered ferrets, with measurement of androstenedione, 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and cortisol as endpoints; (III) GnRH stimulation tests were performed in 15 ferrets of which 8 had hyperadrenocorticism, via puncture of the vena cava under anesthesia; and (IV) urinary corticoid/creatinine (C/C) ratios were measured at 2-week intervals for 1 year in the same ferrets as used in study II. Clear cells in hyperplastic or neoplastic adrenal glands of hyperadrenocorticoid ferrets stained positive with the LH-R antibody. Plasma androstenedione and 17alpha-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations increased after stimulation with GnRH in 7 out of 8 hyperadrenocorticoid ferrets but in only 1 out of 7 healthy ferrets. Hyperadrenocorticoid ferrets had elevated urinary C/C ratios during the breeding season. The observations support the hypothesis that gonadotrophic hormones play a role in the pathogenesis of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets. This condition may be defined as a disease resulting from the expression of LH-R on sex steroid-producing adrenocortical cells.
Descriptors: adrenocortical hyperfunction, ferrets, luteinizing hormone, orchiectomy, 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone, adenoma, adrenal cortex, adrenocortical hyperfunction, androstenedione, gonadorelin, hydrocortisone, LH receptors, urine.

Schoemaker, N.J., K.J. Teerds, J.A. Mol, J.T. Lumeij, J.H.H. Thijssen, and A. Rijnberk (2004). The role of luteinizing hormone in the pathogenesis of hyperadrenocorticism in neutered ferrets. European Journal of Companion Animal Practice 14(1): 69-76. ISSN: 1018-2357.
Descriptors: ferrets, hyperadrenocorticism, pathogenesis, lutenizing hormone, neutered ferrets, adrenal glands, hydrocortisone, LH receptors.

Schoemaker, N.J., M.H. van der Hage, G. Flik, J.T. Lumeij, and A. Rijnberk (2004). Morphology of the pituitary gland in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with hyperadrenocorticism. Journal of Comparative Pathology 130(4): 255-265. ISSN: 0021-9975.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 J82
Abstract: Pituitary tumours are the cause of hyperadrenocorticism in a variety of species, but the role of the pituitary gland in hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets is not known. In this species, the disease is mediated by the action of excess gonadotrophins on the adrenal cortex and is characterized by an excessive secretion of sex steroids. In this study, the pituitary gland of four healthy control ferrets, intact or neutered, and 10 neutered ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism was examined histologically following immunohistochemical labelling for adrenocorticotrophic hormone, alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, growth hormone, thyroid-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and prolactin. Immunohistochemistry revealed that somatotrophs, thyrotrophs and lactotrophs were the most abundant cell types of the pars distalis of the pituitary gland in the healthy ferrets. The distribution of corticotrophs was similar to that in the dog and man. In ferrets, as in dogs, the melanotrophic cell was almost the only cell type of the pars intermedia. Gonadotrophs were found in the pars distalis of neutered, but not intact ferrets. All the ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism had unilateral or bilateral alterations of the adrenal gland. In addition, in the pituitary gland of two of these ferrets a tumour was detected. These tumours were not immunolabelled by antibodies against any of the pituitary hormones, and had characteristics of the clinically non-functional gonadotroph tumours seen in man. In some of the other ferrets low pituitary immunoreactivity for gonadotrophic hormones was detected, which may have been due to the feedback of autonomous steroid secretion by the neoplastic transformation of the adrenal cortex. It is concluded that initially high concentrations of gonadotrophins resulting from castration may initiate hyperactivity of the adrenal cortex. The low incidence of pituitary tumours and the low density of gonadotrophin-positive cells in non-affected pituitary tissue in this study suggest that persistent hyperadrenocorticism is not dependent on persistent gonadotrophic stimulation.
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenocortical hyperfunction, pituitary gland, adenoma, adrenal glands, castration, pituitary neoplasms.

Schoemaker, N.J., J. Wolfswinkel, J.A. Mol, G. Voorhout, M.J.L. Kik, J.T. Lumeij, and A. Rijnberk (2004). Urinary glucocorticoid excretion in the diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 27(1): 13-24. ISSN: 0739-7240.
NAL Call Number: QL868.D6
Abstract: Hyperadrenocorticism in ferrets is usually associated with unaltered plasma concentrations of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), although the urinary corticoid/creatinine ratio (UCCR) is commonly elevated. In this study the urinary glucocorticoid excretion was investigated in healthy ferrets and in ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism under different circumstances. In healthy ferrets and in one ferret with hyperadrenocorticism, approximately 10% of plasma cortisol and its metabolites was excreted in the urine. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed one third of the urinary corticoids to be unconjugated cortisol; the other peaks mainly represented cortisol conjugates and metabolites. In 21 healthy sexually intact ferrets, the UCCR started to increase by the end of March and declined to initial values halfway the breeding season (June). In healthy neutered ferrets there was no significant seasonal influence on the UCCR. In two neutered ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism the UCCR was increased, primarily during the breeding season. In 27 of 31 privately owned ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism, the UCCR was higher than the upper limit of the reference range (2.1 x 10(-6)). In 12 of 14 healthy neutered ferrets dexamethasone administration decreased the UCCR by more than 50%, whereas in only 1 of the 28 hyperadrenocorticoid ferrets did the UCCR decrease by more than 50%. We conclude that the UCCR in ferrets primarily reflects cortisol excretion. In healthy sexually intact ferrets and in ferrets with hyperadrenocorticism the UCCR increases during the breeding season. The increased UCCR in hyperadrenocorticoid ferrets is resistant to suppression by dexamethasone, indicating ACTH-independent cortisol production.
Descriptors: ferrets, hyperadrenocorticism, disease diagnosis, urine, glucocorticoids, cortisol, excretion, metabolites, creatinine, breeding season, seasonal variation, dexamethasone, urinary corticoid-creatine ratio (UCCR).

Ter Meulen, J., A.B.H. Bakker, E.N. Van Den Brink, G.J. Weverling, B.E.E. Martina, B.L. Haagmans, T. Kuiken, J. De Kruif, W. Preiser, W. Spaan, H.R. Gelderblom, J. Goudsmit, and A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (2004). Human monoclonal antibody as prophylaxis for sars coronavirus infection in ferrets. Lancet 363(9427): 2139-2141. ISSN: 0099-5355.
Descriptors: ferrets, SARS infection, coronavirus infection, human monoclonal antibody, prophylaxis, severe acute reapiratory syndrome, animal model.

Triantafyllou, A., D. Fletcher, and J. Scott (2006). Histological and histochemical observations on salivary microliths in ferret. Archives of Oral Biology 51(3): 198-205. ISSN: 0003-9969.
Abstract: The fortuitous observation of salivary microliths in ferret was pursued in the present investigation. Major salivary glands obtained post-mortem from mature ferrets of either sex were examined with the use of histology and light microscopical histochemistry for calcium, protein, amino acids, mucosubstances and hydrolytic enzymes. Microliths were detected in most parotids, but were absent from submandibular and sublingual glands. The microliths were usually seen in lumens, and occasionally in parenchyma and interstices. They were variably stained for calcium, tryptophan, and neutral and acidic mucosubstances, similarly to acinar or ductal secretory granules. Unlike secretory granules, microliths showed autofluorescence, high levels of tyrosine and a low concentration of -SS- groups. Acid phosphatase and beta-glucuronidase reaction surrounded non-luminal microliths. The present data establish ferret as a new model for the investigation of salivary microliths and do not support the notion of microliths being almost absent from the parotid. Probably there is secretory inactivity in ferret parotid and this fosters the formation and accumulation of microliths containing calcium and disintegrated secretory material.
Descriptors: ferrets, salivary gland, calculi, pathology, salivary gland diseases, pathology, parotid diseases, metabolism, pathology, parotid gland, calculi chemistry, submandibular gland diseases, metabolism, submandibular gland diseases, pathology.

von Messling, V., C. Springfeld, P. Devaux, and R. Cattaneo (2003). A ferret model of canine distemper virus virulence and immunosuppression. Journal of Virology 77(23): 12579-12591. ISSN: 0022-538X.
NAL Call Number: QR360.J6
Abstract: Canine distemper virus (CDV) infects many carnivores, including ferrets and dogs, and is the member of the Morbillivirus genus most easily amenable to experimentation in a homologous small-animal system. To gain insights into the determinants of CDV pathogenesis, we isolated a strain highly virulent for ferrets by repeated passaging in these animals. Sequence comparison of the genome of this strain with that of its highly attenuated precursor revealed 19 mutations distributed almost evenly in the six genes. We then recovered a virus from a cDNA copy of the virulent CDV strain's consensus sequence by using a modified reverse genetics system based on B cells. We infected ferrets with this virus and showed that it fully retained virulence as measured by the timing of rash appearance, disease onset, and death. Body temperature, leukocyte number, lymphocyte proliferation activity, and cell-associated viremia also had similar kinetics. We then addressed the question of the relative importance of the envelope and other viral constituents for virulence. Viruses in which the envelope genes (matrix, fusion, and hemagglutinin) of the virulent strain were combined with the other genes of the attenuated strain caused severe rash and fever even if the disease onset was delayed. Viruses in which the nucleocapsid, polymerase, and phosphoprotein genes (coding also for the V and C proteins) of the virulent strain were combined with the envelope genes of the attenuated strain caused milder signs of disease. Thus, virulence-inducing mutations have accumulated throughout the genome.
Descriptors: ferrets, animal disease models, distemper virus, canine pathogenicity, immunosuppression, b lymphocytes immunology, DNA, canine genetics, vero cells, virulence genetics.

Wagner, R.A., C.A. Piche, W. Jochle, and J.W. Oliver (2005). Clinical and endocrine responses to treatment with deslorelin acetate implants in ferrets with adrenocortical disease. American Journal of Veterinary Research 66(5): 910-914. ISSN: 0002-9645.
NAL Call Number: 41.8 Am3A
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical and endocrine responses of ferrets with adrenocortical disease (ACD) to treatment with a slow-release implant of deslorelin acetate. ANIMALS: 15 ferrets with ACD. PROCEDURE: Ferrets were treated SC with a single slow-release, 3-mg implant of deslorelin acetate. Plasma estradiol, androstenedione, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations were measured before and after treatment and at relapse of clinical signs; at that time, the adrenal glands were grossly or ultrasonographically measured and affected glands that were surgically removed were examined histologically. RESULTS: Compared with findings before deslorelin treatment, vulvar swelling, pruritus, sexual behaviors, and aggression were significantly decreased or eliminated within 14 days of implantation; hair regrowth was evident 4 to 6 weeks after treatment. Within 1 month of treatment, plasma hormone concentrations significantly decreased and remained decreased until clinical relapse. Mean time to recurrence of clinical signs was 13.7 +/- 3.5 months (range, 8.5 to 20.5 months). In 5 ferrets, large palpable tumors developed within 2 months of clinical relapse; 3 of these ferrets were euthanatized because of adrenal gland tumor metastasis to the liver or tumor necrosis. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In ferrets with ACD, a slow-release deslorelin implant appears promising as a treatment to temporarily eliminate clinical signs and decrease plasma steroid hormone concentrations. Deslorelin may not decrease adrenal tumor growth in some treated ferrets. Deslorelin implants may be useful in the long-term management of hormone-induced sequelae in ferrets with ACD and in treatment of animals that are considered at surgical or anesthetic risk.
Descriptors: ferrets, adrenal cortex diseases, triptorelin administration, aging, drug implants, gonadal steroid hormones.

White, S.D. (2006). Rabbit, rodent and ferret dermatology. In: Ahead of the curve: OVMA Conference Proceedings., January 26, 2006-January 28, 2006, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association: Milton, Canada, p. 102-115.
Online: http://www.ovma.org
Descriptors: ferrets, rabbits, rodents, dermatology, etiology, alopecia, clinical aspects, diagnosis, drug therapy, ectoparasites, pruritus, skin diseases.

Wills, T.B., A.A. Bohn, N.P. Finch, S.P. Harris, and P. Caplazi (2005). Thyroid follicular adenocarcinoma in a ferret. Veterinary Clinical Pathology 34(4): 405-408. ISSN: 0275-6382.
NAL Call Number: SF601.A54
Abstract: A 5-year-old male castrated ferret was presented to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation of progressive hair loss and a large, rapidly growing ventral neck mass. The patient had been diagnosed previously with an insulinoma, which was managed medically. Fine-needle aspirates of the neck mass were performed. The cytologic results were most consistent with epithelial neoplasia, likely a carcinoma; thyroid origin was considered likely based on tumor location and cell morphology. The tumor grew rapidly, and the owners elected euthanasia 1 week after examination. At necropsy, a circumscribed, ovoid mass disrupted the right cervical musculature next to the right lobe of the thyroid gland. Histopathologic evaluation revealed an infiltrative mass consisting of cuboidal cells arranged in solid sheets and irregular follicles enclosing colloid. The cells were large, with prominent nucleoli, and had a high mitotic rate. The histopathologic diagnosis was consistent with thyroid follicular adenocarcinoma. Immunochemical findings confirmed thyroglobulin production by neoplastic cells, but to a lesser extent than in normal ferret thyroid tissue. To our knowledge, this is the first case of thyroid follicular adenocarcinoma to be reported in a ferret, with only 1 other case of thyroid carcinoma, a C-cell carcinoma, described previously.
Descriptors: ferrets, follicular adenocarcinoma, thyroid neoplasms, immunohistochemistry, thyroid gland, neoplasms, case study.

Woods, J.B., C.K. Schmitt, S.C. Darnell, K.C. Meysick, and A. O'Brien (2002). Ferrets as a model system for renal disease secondary to intestinal infection with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Journal of Infectious Diseases 185(4): 550-554. ISSN: 0022-1899.
NAL Call Number: 448.8 J821
Abstract: Ferrets were evaluated as a possible small animal model for the development of colitis and/or signs of the hemolytic uremic syndrome after oral infection with Escherichia coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin--producing E. coli (STEC). Ferrets treated with streptomycin (Stm) had higher counts of E. coli O157:H7 strain 86-24 Stm-resistant (Stm(r)) or O91:H21 strain B2F1 Stm(r) in their stools than non--Stm-treated animals. None of the animals displayed evidence of colitis, but Stm-treated animals fed strain 86-24 Stm(r) exhibited weight loss significantly greater than that exhibited by ferrets fed an isogenic mutant negative for the adhesin intimin. Moreover, 11 (23%) of the 47 Stm-treated ferrets inoculated with 86-24 Stm(r) or B2F1 Stm(r) developed hematuria and/or histological damage to glomeruli or thrombocytopenia, compared with 0 of 14 uninfected control animals receiving Stm in water. Thus, the ferret may serve as a model for renal disease secondary to intestinal infection with STEC.
Descriptors: ferrets, animal disease models, Escherichia coli infections, Escherichia coli o157 pathogenicity, Escherichia coli proteins, intestinal diseases, kidney diseases, shiga toxin, intestinal diseases, streptomycin .

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