Oertzenweg 19 b
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Ninety six ferrets have been enrolled in a cardiovascular study. The patients were classified into 4 subgroups: Group A (non sedated-normal group, NSN group), Group B (non sedated-disease group, NSD group), Group C (sedated-normal group, SN group) and Group D (sedated-disease group, SD group). A low dose ketamine and xylazine was used to anesthetize the animals. Heart murmurs were found mostly on the left side of the thorax and and more than half of the murmurs had a low intensity graded from 1 to 2 from a 5 grade scale. The normal ECG mean values were: P amplitude of 0.08 mV; P duration of 0.02 sec. R amplitude was 1.68 mV. QRS duration was 0.03 sec. S and Q waves in lead II were found rarely in normal ferrets. T waves were found as positive and negative deflections but mostly were positive in lead II with a mean amplitude of 0.15 mV. The mean value for the PQ interval and QT interval was 0.05 sec and 0.10 sec respectively. Heart rate ranged between 190 to 360 bpm in normal animals without sedation. Ventricular premature complexes were the predominant arrhythmia found in this study. In 84% of the normal population the mean electrical vector ranged from 30 to 100 degree. In ferrets with heart disease the mean electrical vector ranged from 43.5 to 125 degrees. The most useful radiographic method to differentiate the cardiac silhouette between the normal and the disease groups is the intercostal score (ICS) system. In the normal groups, the mean values were 2.28 ICS compared to 2.70 ICS in the disease groups. Cardiac silhouette without sternal contact are a special finding in ferrets and occurred in both groups. In normal 2-D echocardiography the features resembled the findings in small animals. M-mode echocardiography in the normal groups showed a mean of LVDd 1.04 cm, IVSd 0.35 cm, LVWd 0.36 cm, LVDs 0.60 cm. IVSs and LVWs were equal in thickness at 0.47 cm. The mean value of the fractional shortening (FS) in normal groups was a 42.48% which is remarkable higher than in the disease groups (FS=30.42%). The mean LA/AO ratio was 1.32 in the normal groups. In the disease groups showed a mean LA/AO at 1.41. In the Doppler examination, a mitral regurgitation was most often recorded. The pulmonic and aortic velocities were recorded in nine and fourteen cases respectively in which the pulmonic flow velocity (n=9) was detected at a range from 0.5 to 1.15 m/sec and the aortic flow velocity (n=14) ranged from 0.6 to 1 m/sec.