Erythema / petechiae / ecchymoses in Ferrets | Vetlexicon
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Erythema / petechiae / ecchymoses

ISSN 2398-2985

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Synonym(s): Rash, Bruising, Contusion

Introduction

  • Cause: bleeding into tissues causes local hemorrhagic discoloration. Causes include trauma, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, septicemia, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.
  • Signs: variable sizes of discoloration to the skin or mucous membranes.
  • Diagnosis: clinical appearance, hematology, clotting factors, biopsy, blood culture (reptiles).
  • Treatment: pressure, cold compress, treat underlying cause.
  • Prognosis: depends on cause.                                                                                                                                                                                            

Presenting signs

  • Red (hemorrhagic) changes in skin or mucous membranes.
  • Petechiae are small pin-point hemorrhages approximately 1 mm in diameter.
  • Ecchymoses are larger areas of hemorrhage, usually with ill-defined margins and irregular, circular shape .
  • Petechiae and ecchymoses are seen in vasculitis or thrombocytopenia .
  • Bruises or hematomas are localized areas of hemorrhage into the surrounding connective tissue caused by physical disruption of blood vessels. They have a predictable series of color changes from red to blue/purple/green/yellow. They are usually localized and due to trauma.
  • Systemic signs of depression, anorexia, tachycardia, depending on underlying cause.

Acute presentation

  • Hemorrhage.
  • Edema.
  • Depression.
  • Collapse.
  • Tachycardia.

Geographic incidence

  • Worldwide.

Gender predisposition

  • Female ferrets with persistent estrus Prolonged estrus commonly develop thrombocytopenia.

Public health considerations

  • Bacterial infections may be zoonotic, eg salmonellosis.

Cost considerations

  • Treatment can be prolonged and costly.
  • Hospitalization for intensive care, fluid therapy Fluid therapy, possible blood transfusion, therapeutic agents.

Special risks

  • Clotting defects must be addressed prior to any procedure carried out.
  • Risk of developing organ failure or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)  if in shock.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Trauma: physical damage to vessels in area
  • Vasculitis with loss of capillary integrity: immune mediated, infection, heat stroke.
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation.
  • Coagulation disorders: due to consumption, destruction or lack of production.
  • Pancytopenia due to persistent estrus in unspayed female ferrets.

Predisposing factors

General

Pathophysiology

  • Traumatic vascular damage.

Timecourse

  • Traumatic injuries are acute and take 7-14 days for bruising to resolve.
  • Persistent estrus leading to estrogen associated bone marrow suppression may take four weeks to be evident clinically.

Epidemiology

  • Unspayed female ferrets.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Amstislavsky S & Ternovskaya Y (2000) Reproduction in mustelids. Anim Repro Sci 2 (60-61), 571-581 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Di Girolamo N & Huynh M (2020) Disorders of the Urinary and Reproductive Systems in Ferrets. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents. 4th edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C, Carpenter J W. W B Saunders, USA. pp 39-54.