Extreme Tetralogy of Fallot With Polycythemia in a Ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

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Abstract

A 5-month-old, intact male ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was presented with apathy, tachypnea and exercise intolerance. On initial physical examination, tachypnea and cyanosis were the two primary clinical signs detected. The complete blood count also revealed a severe polycythemia, with lymphopenia, neutrophilia and eosinophilia.

Further diagnostic imaging tests were performed. The thoracic radiographs revealed cardiomegaly and a diffuse alveolar pulmonary pattern. Consequently, an echocardiography was performed and showed an interventricular septal defect, pulmonic artery occlusion, overriding of the aorta and right ventricle hypertrophy. All abnormalities were compatible with a tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). As a treatment plan, a phlebotomy was performed and the ferret was posteriorly maintained with oxygen and fluid therapy. The following day, the hematocrit decreased 11% and the respiratory distress improved. Four days later, the ferret got clinically worse and was euthanized. A necropsy was performed and confirmed the presence of an extreme TOF with a diffused interstitial pneumonia secondary to Pneumocystis carinii. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of an extreme tetralogy of Fallot with polycythemia in a ferret.

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