Metabolic and endocrine characteristics of pregnancy toxemia in the ferret

https://doi.org/10.17221/19/2009-VETMEDCitation:Prohaczik A., Kulcsar M., Huszenicza G. (2009): Metabolic and endocrine characteristics of pregnancy toxemia in the ferret. Veterinarni Medicina, 54: 75-80.
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Metabolic and endocrine characteristics of pregnancy toxemia are well documented in small ruminants, but less known in other species. The objective of this study was to measure plasma levels of certain metabolites and metabolic hormones related to the energetic status in blood from sick and healthy, non-pregnant (control) ferrets. Blood was collected from moribund, hypothermic, late pregnant females suffering from pregnancy toxemia (n = 4) and from healthy female ferrets (n = 14) to measure glucose, ketone (βOH-butyrate, BHB), insulin, thyroxine (T4) and 3,3’,5-triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations. In contrast to healthy animals, hypoglycemia, hyperketonemia, hypoinsulinemia and decreased T4 and T3 levels were detected in females with pregnancy toxemia and necropsy showed excessive hepatic lipidosis. In summary, it can be concluded that pregnancy toxemia caused by a negative energy balance in ferrets resembles the late-gestational hyperketonemia of twin-pregnant ewes, and moreover that similar endocrine changes may occur.
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