Rose's autopsy pictures
Fluid leaking out of abdomen.
Pancreas, spleen, intestines.
Liver and gall bladder.
In house blood tests:
Blood test values from 30.01.06
Albumin 25 g/L
Alkaline Phosphatase 70 U/L
ALT 140 U/L
Amylase 157 U/L
Calcium 2.18 mmol/L
Cholesterol 3.5 mmol/L
Creatinine 128 umol/L High
Glucose 6.3 mmol/L
Phosphate 2.46 mmol/L
Total Protein 66 g/L
Urea 16.0 mmol/L High
Blood test values from 23.02.06
ALKP= 44 U/L (9-84)
ALT= 349 U/L (82-289)
CREA= 68 umol/l (35-80)
GLU= 6.51 mmol/l (5.22-11.50)
TP= 58 g/l (52-73)
UREA= 15.6 mmol/l (3.6-16.1)
Rose's pathology report:
Peritonitis and Cardiomyopathy
The submission consists of fixed necropsy samples of multiple tissues from a female ferret ; age not specified.
LIVER: Microscopy reveals mild to moderate, multifocal, periportal infiltrations of mainly mononuclear leucocytes (lymphocytes, plasma cells and a few histiocytes); mild to moderate subcapsular inflammatory infiltrates; patchy, mild hepatocytic lipid vacuolation; and mild to moderate dilatation of the hepatic vasculature, with occasional mild dilatation of periacinar sinusoids. The mucosa of the gall bladder is mildly hyperplastic and moderately inflamed.
KIDNEYS: 2 sections were examined - one from each kidney. These reveal moderately severe, multifocal, chronic interstitial nephritis, at a degree that would probably have been causing clinical evidence of renal dysfunction.
SPLEEN: The red pulp is moderately expanded by a combination of congestion and increased extramedullary haemopoiesis (EMH). The white pulp is mildly expanded. Fairly severe inflammatory changes are evident in attached omentum.
HEART: Sub-grossly, both ventricles appear dilated and there is only a relatively small difference in the thickness the walls of the left and right ventricles (approx 1.5 : 1 - normal should be 2.5 to 3 : 1). Microscopically, however, only very minor changes are evident with little variation in myofibre diameter and only slight anisokaryosis, but no convincing moyfibre necrosis and no inflammation or fibrosis.
LUNG: 2 sections were examined. The pulmonary parenchyma appears hypercellular and moderately congested and there is evidence of alveolar effusion in places. A single small focus of osseous metaplasia is present in one c these sections. This is an incidental finding of no pathological importance.
PANCREAS: The section reveals variable, but in places moderately severe, inflammatory infiltration in the intra- and interlobular connective tissue and there are also fairly severe inflammatory changes in the adjoining mesentery, There is moderate to marked medullary plasmacytosis and sinus histiocytosis in the pancreatic lymph node included in the section.
ADRENAL: 2 sections were examined. One appears largely unremarkable; the other shows evidence of moderate cortical hyperplasia.
INTESTINE: The section examined appears largely unremarkable except for the mesothelial cells lining the seros2 surface, which are prominent and "reactive" in appearance. There is moderate inflammation in the attached mesentery.
MESENTERIC LYMPH NODE: The section reveals moderate medullary plasmacytosis and sinus histiocytosis, wit some erythrophagocytosis. Cortical follicles appear relatively inactive.
MESENTERY: The sections examined reveal patchy, but mostly moderately severe, predominantly mononuclear inflammation, with areas of necrosis and haemorrhage.
DIAGNOSIS: Peritonitis; Cardiomyopathy; Chronic interstitial nephritis.
DISCUSSION: Serious pathological changes were identified in many of the tissues submitted and it is difficult to formulate a single, overall diagnosis. Grossly there is evidence of dilated cardiomyopathy, but the section examine, lacks the degenerative changes that are usually seen in the myocardium of affected hearts, suggesting this may be an early example. Dilated cardiomyopathy is an increasingly recognized condition in ferrets and may be primary (cause unknown) or secondary to an inflammatory process. It usually causes ascites and/or hydrothorax and ascites can then lead to inflammatory changes in the peritoneum, so it is possible the peritonitis in this case was secondary to the cardiomyopathy; however it is alternatively possible that increased vascular resistance in the mesenteric capillary bed due to peritonitis of some other cause led to the cardiac dilatation. The vascular dilatation in the liver was probably secondary to the cardiomyopathy, while the inflammatory changes (cholecystitis and pericholangitis) were probably due to inflammation ascending from the pancreas - part of the overall peritonitis. I am uncertain how the chronic interstitial nephritis fits in; it may be coincidental or it may be part of a generalized inflammatory process in this animal. NOTE: there is a relatively recently recognized condition in ferrets akin to feline infectious peritonitis in cats and also caused by a coronavirus. Although this particular case lacks any characteristic inflammatory changes, I could not rule out this possibility completely.