ISSN 2398-2985      

Heat stress

4ferrets
Contributor(s):

Jemma Hildrew

Sarah Brown

Synonym(s): Heat stroke


Introduction

  • Cause: ambient temperature 21°C/69.8°F or higher, particularly above 30°C/86°F
  • Signs: prostration, excess salivation, shallow rapid respiration, death.
  • Diagnosis: elevated body temperature, history.
  • Treatment: controlled cooling of body temperature, fluids (subcutaneous, intravenous, intraperitoneal).
  • Prognosis: poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Elevated or prolonged ambient temperatures; usually, above 30°C/86°F, but effects may be seen as low as 21°C/69.8°F in ferrets if humidity is elevated particularly in ill, obese, stressed or pregnant ferrets.
  • Ferrets have a thick coat and do not have well developed sweat glands, which makes them susceptible to heat stress and heat stroke.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Pre-existing cardiovascular or respiratory disease.
  • Obesity.
  • Stress.
  • Pregnant.

Specific

  • A stressed ferret may be one with poor husbandry, nutrition or any concurrent illness or injury.

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

Other sources of information

  • Chitty J C & Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Emergency Care. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. CRC Press, USA. pp 113-126.
  • Antinoff N (2011) Heatstroke. In: Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 265-266.
  • Harkness J E et al (2010) Clinical Signs and Differential Diagnoses. In: Harkness & Wagner's Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, USA. pp 195-247.
  • Johnson-Delaney C (2010) Ferrets, Skunks and Otters. In: BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets. 5th edn. Eds: Meredith A & Johnson-Delaney C. BSAVA, UK. pp 127-138.
  • Chitty J (2009) Ferrets: Physical Examination and Emergency Care. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. BSAVA, UK. pp 205-218.

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