Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Ferrets

Cardiac arrhythmias including conduction disturbances

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Sarah Pellett

Introduction

  • Cause: problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart.
  • Signs: abnormal heart rate/rhythm,
  • Diagnosis: electrocardiography.
  • Treatment: depends on cause and severity.
  • Prognosis: depends on type of cardiac arrhythmia or conduction abnormality, as well as any underlying disease. Poor prognosis if profound bradycardia.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart.

Pathophysiology

  • Cardiac arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities may be physiologic or pathologic in origin.
  • Sinus arrhythmia is the most common finding:
    • Due to increased vagal tone.
    • Can be resolved following exercise or administration of a parasympatholytic drug, eg atropine, glycopyrrolate.
  • Pathologic arrhythmias may occur due to: stress, pain, hyperthermia, hypoxia, shock, electrolyte or metabolic disturbances (eg hypercalcemia, hypo- or hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia (insulinoma)), infections (eg sepsis), intoxications (eg digoxin), anesthesia, endocrine disease (eg hyperthyroidism), anemia and cardiac abnormalities (eg dilated cardiomyopathy, myocarditis).

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

  • Von Zeeland Y R A & Schoemaker N J (2017) Disorders of the Cardiovascular System. In Ferret Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 127-157.
  • Morrisey J K & Kraus M S (2012) Ferrets: Cardiovascular and other Diseases. In: Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Saunders, St. Louis, USA. pp 62-77.
  • Klaphake E (2011) Bradyarrhthmias. In: Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult: Small Mammal. 2nd edn. Ed: Oglesbee B L. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 60-61.


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