A 4.5-year-old neutered male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was examined because of clinical signs compatible with neuromuscular disease.
Results of electrophysiologic assessment, including measurement of compound muscle action potentials following repetitive nerve stimulation, and measurement of the anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer were consistent with a diagnosis of acquired myasthenia gravis.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Medical treatment with pyridostigmine and prednisolone was instituted. The first signs of clinical improvement were observed 2 months later, followed by a slow but steady improvement over the next months. Anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer was measured 10 months after initiation of treatment and was markedly decreased, compared with the initial titer. Pyridostigmine and prednisolone dosages were tapered over the following 4 months without any evidence of recurrence of clinical signs. Thirty months after initial examination, the ferret was clinically normal and not receiving any treatment. A follow-up anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer was similar to previously published values for healthy ferrets.
Findings indicated that clinical and serologic remission can be achieved in ferrets with myasthenia gravis. However, owner willingness to provide extensive supportive care was vital to the outcome for this patient, as was the owner's decision to not euthanize the ferret despite an initial lack of response to treatment.