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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine incidence of neoplastic disease in ferrets.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

574 ferrets with neoplastic disease.

Procedure

Medical records from the Veterinary Medical Data Base at Purdue University from 1968 to May 1997 were reviewed to identify ferrets with neoplastic disease. Data on tumor type, organ or system affected, sex, age, geographic location of affected ferrets, participating institution, and year of diagnosis were retrieved.

Results

639 tumors of various types were diagnosed in 574 of 4,774 (12%) ferrets in the database. Sixty-one ferrets had multiple tumor types. Primary tumors were found in every system; endocrine (254; 39.7%). hemolymphatic (97; 15.2 %). integumentary (83; 12.9%). and digestive (54; 8.4%) systems were most commonly affected. The most common tumor types were pancreatic islet cell (139; 21.7%) and adrenocortical cell (107; 16.7%) tumors and lymphoma (76; 11.9%). Most (94.2%) pancreatic islet cell tumors were functional. Age of affected ferrets ranged from less than 1 month to more than 15 years old. Tumor incidence was highest in ferrets between 4 and 7 years old. A sex predilection was not found, although tumors were found more commonly in spayed females and castrated males than in sexually intact females and males, respectively. Number of tumors diagnosed increased as the number of ferrets examined increased. Neoplastic disease accounted for an increasingly greater percentage of diseases diagnosed in ferrets during the study period.

Clinical Implications

Ferrets have an incidence and spectrum of neoplastic disease similar to other mammalian species. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212: 1402–1406)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether ferrets naturally infected with Helicobacter mustelae were hypergastrinemic, compared with ferrets that were specific-pathogen-free (SPF) for H mustelae.

Design

Plasma gastrin concentrations in H mustelae-infected and SPF ferrets were measured at 3 time points and compared to determine whether H mustelae was associated with hypergastrinemia.

Animals

21 H mustelae-infected ferrets and 10 SPF ferrets.

Procedure

The H mustelae status of the ferrets was confirmed prior to commencement of the study. Gastric endoscopy was used to obtain gastric mucosal pinch biopsy specimens that were processed for rapid-urease assay, microaerophilic culturing, and histologic evaluation. Plasma gastrin concentrations were determined at 3 time points: baseline after a 12-hour nonfeeding period, and 30 and 60 minutes after oral administration of a standardized meal. Gastrin was measured by radioimmunoassay.

Results

The results for the H mustelae-infected group (mean ± SEM pg/ml) were: baseline, 54.4 ± 2.56; 30 minutes, 94.5 ± 6.05; and 60 minutes, 82.6 ± 5.73. The SPF group results were: baseline, 55.8 ± 7.35; 30 minutes, 80.8 ± 5.77; and 60 minutes, 59.7 ± 4.95. There was a significant (P < 0.01) difference at the 60-minute time point between the 2 groups of animals. The H mustelae group had a 17% higher mean gastrin value at 30 minutes.

Conclusions

Helicobacter mustelae is associated with hypergastrinemia in ferrets.

Clinical Relevance

Helicobacter-induced hypergastrinemia may be related to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease in ferrets.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To determine the phenotype of naturally developing lymphomas in young ferrets.

Animals

10 ferrets with lymphoma.

Procedure

Neoplastic tissues were graded histologically according to the National Cancer Institute's Working Formulation for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and phenotype was determined by means of immunohistochemical staining. A polyclonal anti-human CD3 and a monoclonal anti-human CD79 antibody were used to classify the lymphomas in situ as T-cell or B-cell origin. Specificity of antibodies was determined by evaluating lymphoid tissue from normal ferrets in situ, which was confirmed by western blot analyses.

Results

All 10 ferrets had clinically aggressive tumors, irrespective of the phenotype. Nine ferrets had T-cell lymphoma that extensively involved the mediastinum. Remnants of thymic tissue, indicative of thymic origin, were identified in lymphoma of these 9 ferrets. One ferret had a B-cell multicentric lymphoma without involvement of the mediastinum.

Conclusions

The majority of lymphomas in these young ferrets involved the mediastinum and were of T-cell phenotype.

Impact for Human Medicine

There are many similarities between the lymphoma syndrome of ferrets and the condition documented for cats and children with lymphoma of the mediastinal area.

Clinical Relevance

Differential diagnoses for young ferrets with clinical signs of lethargy or respiratory distress should include T-cell lymphoma of the mediastinum. ((Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1281-1286)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Three methods of determining glomerular filtration rate (gfr) were performed in adult ferrets, 9 months to 7 years old. Endogenous creatinine clearance was determined, using serum and urine creatinine values obtained during 24- and 48-hour collection periods from 27 ferrets housed in metabolic cages. Creatinine and radiolabeled inulin were administered to 12 female ferrets by constant iv infusion during isoflurane-induced anesthesia. Serial 20-minute urine collections, together with serum samples obtained at the midpoint of urine collection, provided measures for clearance calculations of these substances. Mean ± sd endogenous creatinine clearance in ferrets for metabolic cage collections was 2.50 ± 0.93 ml/min/ kg of body weight. There were no significant differences between the 24- and 48-hour clearance rates. Mean inulin clearance was 3.02 ± 1.78, and mean exogenous creatinine clearance was 3.32 ± 2.16 ml/ min/kg. Analysis of variance, using least-squared means adjustment, did not yield any significant differences between inulin and exogenous creatinine clearance rates. Exogenous creatinine clearance-to-inulin clearance ratio was 0.99 ± 0.46, and there was significant correlation between the 2 methods (r = 0.82, P = 0.0001). Significant body temperature effects on inulin or exogenous creatinine clearance were not found. Infused inulin clearance, the generally preferred method for gfr calculation in mammalian species, was significantly (P = 0.0069) higher in younger (3.65 ml/min/kg) vs older ferrets (2.29 ml/min/kg). Results of this study indicate that inulin clearance is an adequate measure of gfr in ferrets as it is in other species. Compared with inulin clearance, exogenous creatinine clearance also provides a reliable estimate of gfr in ferrets.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare biomaterials used in orthopedics with respect to in vitro cell viability and cell retention and to in vivo tissue healing and regeneration.

Animals—65 adult female Sprague-Dawley rats and synovium, tendon, meniscus, and bone marrow specimens obtained from 4 adult canine cadavers.

Procedures—Synovium, tendon, meniscus, and bone marrow specimens were used to obtain synovial fibroblasts, tendon fibroblasts, meniscal fibrochondrocytes, and bone marrow–derived connective tissue progenitor cells for culture on 5 biomaterials as follows: cross-linked porcine small intestine (CLPSI), non–cross-linked human dermis, cross-linked porcine dermis, non–cross-linked porcine small intestine (NCLPSI), and non–cross-linked fetal bovine dermis. After 1 week of culture, samples were evaluated for cell viability, cell density, and extracellular matrix production. Biomaterials were evaluated in a 1-cm2 abdominal wall defect in rats. Each biomaterial was subjectively evaluated for handling, suturing, defect fit, and ease of creating the implant at the time of surgery, then grossly and histologically 6 and 12 weeks after surgery.

Results—All biomaterials allowed for retention of viable cells in culture; however, CLPSI and NCLPSI were consistently superior in terms of cell viability and cell retention. Cell infiltration for NCLPSI was superior to other biomaterials. The NCLPSI appeared to be replaced with regenerative tissue most rapidly in vivo and scored highest in all subjective evaluations of ease of use.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data suggested that NCLPSI and CLPSI have favorable properties for further investigation of clinical application in orthopedic tissue engineering.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research