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J Vet Cardiol. 2006 Nov;8(2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jvc.2006.04.001. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

The surface electrocardiogram in domestic ferrets.

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  • 1Section of Internal Medicine (Companion Animals), Department of Clinical Sciences, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, 1 Avenue Bourgelat, 69280 Marcy l'Etoile, France.



The two goals of the current study were to evaluate the surface electrocardiogram for significant differences observed between two different recumbency positions and suggest normal surface electrocardiographic values in those positions for the "clinically" normal domestic pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo).


Surface electrocardiograms were recorded using six standard limb leads from 80 apparently healthy domestic pet ferrets. Each was anesthetized with a combination of ketamine and diazepam. Electrocardiograms were recorded in two different recumbency positions (right lateral and sternal recumbency). The data were analyzed retrospectively and the values were compared statistically for the two different recumbency positions, for age and for gender.


Significant differences were observed between recumbency recording positions for the following values: mean electrical axis, P wave amplitude, R wave amplitude in leads I and II and Q (or S) wave amplitude in lead I. Clinical relevance for P and Q wave amplitude differences was interpreted with caution. Heart rate was markedly higher in younger ferrets. No differences were observed between males and females.


Recumbency position significantly affects ECG recordings in the ferret. The values obtained are suggested as normal surface electrocardiographic values for the domestic pet ferret, in similar recumbency recording positions and under ketamine diazepam sedation.

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