OBJECTIVE To determine whether extent of collateral circulation would change during temporary occlusion of the caudal vena cava (CVC) in ferrets (Mustela putorius), a pressure change would occur caudal to the occlusion, and differences would exist between the sexes with respect to those changes.
PROCEDURES Ferrets were anesthetized. A balloon occlusion catheter was introduced through a jugular vein, passed into the CVC by use of fluoroscopy, positioned cranial to the right renal vein, and inflated for 20 minutes. Venography was performed 5 and 15 minutes after occlusion. Pressure in the CVC caudal to the occlusion was measured continuously. A CBC, plasma biochemical analysis, and urinalysis were performed immediately after the procedure and 2 or 3 days later.
RESULTS All 8 ferrets survived the procedure; no differences were apparent between the sexes. Vessels providing collateral circulation were identified in all ferrets, indicating blood flow to the paravertebral venous plexus. Complications observed prior to occlusion included atrial and ventricular premature contractions. Complications after occlusion included bradycardia, seizures, and extravasation of contrast medium. Mean baseline CVC pressure was 5.4 cm H2O. During occlusion, 6 ferrets had a moderate increase in CVC pressure (mean, 24.3 cm H2O) and 2 ferrets had a marked increase in CVC pressure to > 55.0 cm H2O.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caval occlusion for 20 minutes was performed in healthy ferrets with minimal adverse effects noted within the follow-up period and no apparent differences between sexes. The CVC pressure during occlusion may be prognostic in ferrets undergoing surgical ligation of the CVC, which commonly occurs during adrenal tumor resection.