CASE DESCRIPTION 3 ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), aged 1 to 2 years, were referred for evaluation of a 4-day to 2-week history of gastrointestinal signs, including anorexia, regurgitation, and vomiting.
CLINICAL FINDINGS All 3 ferrets had clinical signs suggestive of dysphagia or esophagitis on initial examination. Esophagoscopy, barium-contrast esophagography, or both revealed foreign bodies with mucosal inflammation in 1 patient and an esophageal foreign body with stricture in 2 patients. One of the latter ferrets had a recent history of gastrotomy to remove a foreign body.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME 1 ferret was treated with endoscopic retrieval of the foreign bodies. Esophageal stricture was treated in 2 ferrets by means of endoscopic balloon dilation accompanied by placement of an esophageal stent in 1 ferret. After resolution of clinical signs and completion of all prescribed treatments, 2 of 3 ferrets successfully transitioned to a regular hard kibble diet; 1 ferret remained on a soft diet for 2 years. All owners were satisfied with the outcome of treatment.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Ferrets are prone to foreign body ingestion. Results of this small series of cases suggested that minimally invasive techniques may be useful for the management of esophageal disease in this species.
A 12-year-old sexually intact male zoo-managed Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) was evaluated for a 3-day history of vomiting, hyporexia, and lethargy. Radiographs were supportive of gastrointestinal obstruction, and an exploratory laparotomy was performed.
Diffuse tan foci were present on the liver parenchyma, and the tiger became icteric throughout the procedure. Hepatic histopathology and immunohistochemistry resulted in a diagnosis of leptospirosis. Serum microagglutination testing for Leptospira spp antibody titers were positive for L kirschneri serovar Grippotyphosa, rising from 1:400 to 1:3,200 in 2 days.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
The tiger was treated with antimicrobials, ursodiol, and mirtazapine, and increased biosecurity measures were instituted. Free-ranging wildlife on grounds were trapped, euthanized, and submitted for necropsy to screen for disease vectors. The tiger’s urine was intermittently opportunistically collected from the enclosure and remained PCR assay negative for Leptospira spp until being positive once again on day 595. Although the tiger was without clinical signs at that time, antimicrobial therapy and increased biosecurity protocols were instituted a second time until urinary Leptospira shedding was confirmed to have stopped. By 1,071 days after initial presentation, the tiger remained nonclinical, with no additional urinary shedding episodes.
While domestic and nondomestic free-ranging felids have been reported as subclinical Leptospira spp carriers, this report indicates the clinical importance of leptospirosis when a tiger presents with generalized gastrointestinal signs and icterus. Due to the zoonotic potential, biosecurity measures are necessary. This patient had a clinically successful outcome with antimicrobial therapy and supportive care.