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  • Author or Editor: Judith A. Bell x
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SUMMARY

Forty 3- to 17-week old domestic ferrets, including 2 gnotobiotes, were inoculated orally and/or rectally with 106 to 109 colony-forming units of 1 or more of 4 strains of Campylobacter jejuni, 3 of mink and 1 of human origin. Feeding or gavage of any of the 4 strains, in milk or broth, with or without preinoculation sodium bicarbonate treatment to neutralize stomach acid, induced colonization in 38/40 ferrets; diarrhea lasted 2 to 4 days in conventional kits, 6 days in gnotobiotes. Bacteremia was detected in 4 of 18 tested, 2 to 5 days after inoculation. Two strains caused no more severe disease or prolonged colonization after 3 serial iv passages in kits than they did before passage. Multiple inoculations with a given strain resulted in progressively briefer colonization and milder disease, but subsequent inoculation with a different strain induced colonization and gastrointestinal disease similar to a primary infection. Five kits inoculated rectally after 4 previous homologous inoculations were resistant to colonization as well as to disease. Agglutinin titers of ferrets inoculated orally or rectally once were low or undetectable, but increased in response to repeated inoculation. Pretreatment with a 1% formalin enema caused mild colon irritation without clinical or histologic evidence of proliferative colitis in ferrets concurrently inoculated orally and/or rectally, whether or not they had preexisting antibodies to any strain of C jejuni. Histologic examination of tissues revealed leukocytic infiltration of intestinal lamina propria in 29 of 35 infected kits and 5 of 8 noninfected controls, and cryptosporidiosis in 5 infected kits plus 1 control. Examination of silver-stained sections of intestine from 15 infected ferrets revealed Campylobacter like organisms on the surface of, but never inside, epithelial cells. The lack of characteristic gross or histologic lesions suggested that C jejuni is not, by itself, responsible for proliferative colitis in ferrets.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Evidence of blood groups in domestic ferrets was sought by testing serum samples for naturally acquired or experimentally induced erythrocyte antibodies. All sera were tested for ability to cause direct agglutination, antiglobulin-enhanced (Coombs test) agglutination, or lysis.

Examination of 212 randomly paired combinations of ferret serum and erythrocytes produced no evidence of naturally acquired blood group antibodies. Six pairs of ferrets were reciprocally transfused twice, 34 days apart, with 6-ml quantities of anticoagulated blood. All were tested 21 days after the first transfusion, as well as 10 and 30 days after the second transfusion; erythrocyte antibodies were not detected. Four additional pairs of ferrets were reciprocally inoculated sc with a series of six 1.25-ml quantities of blood in Alsever solution, administered over a 3-week period, and tested 8 days after the last injection; again, erythrocyte antibodies could not be detected.

These observations suggest that blood groups of the kind in human beings and other mammals either do not exist in domestic ferrets or represent antigen systems too weak to elicit measurable responses under the reported conditions. It appears, therefore, that transfusion in this species poses little clinical risk, even without crossmatching.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Assays were validated for the measurement of urinary concentrations of cortisol and creatinine in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Urinary concentrations of cortisol and creatinine and the calculated urinary cortisol:creatinine ratio (UCCR) values were determined for 29 clinically normal female ferrets, 22 clinically normal male ferrets, and 12 ferrets with adrenal gland tumors. The UCCR values for the 51 clinically normal ferrets ranged from 0.04 × 10-6 to 1.66 × 10-6, with a median value of 0.22 × 10-6. The UCCR values were significantly (P ≤ 0.01) higher in the 12 ferrets with adrenal tumors, with a range of 0.5 × 10-6 to 60.13 × 10-6 and a median of 5.98 × 10-6. We concluded that determination of UCCR values was useful in the diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism associated with adrenal neoplasia in domestic ferrets.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association