Radiographic measurement of cardiac size in 64 ferrets.
ABSTRACT As ferrets can suffer from a wide variety of cardiac disorders, indicators for detecting cardiac abnormalities on plain chest radiography are necessary. A total of 64 ferrets without heart disease underwent radiography in the right lateral (RL) and ventrodorsal positions (VD), and the lengths of the RL-sixth dorsal vertebra (6th DV), RL- and VD-long axis (LA) and RL- and VD-short axis (SA), RL- and VD- vertebral heart size, VD-length of the eighth costa (LEC) and VD-thoracic width at the eighth thoracic vertebra (8th TV) were measured to establish standard values of normal cardiac appearance. We evaluated statistical differences between genders and ferrets weighing < 1 kg and > or = 1 kg for a total of 38 items. As a result, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed in all items, including some differences that have been reported previously. In particular, the present study established highly accurate standard values for weight differences. Standard values calculated based on the 6th DV and a relational expression obtained by the regression coefficient of the ratio of VD-SA to VD-8th TV, VD-8th TV=2.887 + (0.769 x VD-SA), were considered useful for evaluating normal cardiac morphology in ferrets.