Oral examination results in rescued ferrets: Clinical findings

Viacheslav V. Eroshin, Alexander M. Reiter, Karen Rosenthal, Margaret Fordham, La'Toya Latney, Susan Brown, John R. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ferrets have increased in popularity as pets, and a growing number are seen in companion animal practice. Domestic ferrets are commonly used as animal models for research of human oral conditions. The present study evaluated the prevalence of oral pathology in rescued ferrets which - to the authors 'knowledge - has not yet been described in the scientific literature. Conscious oral examination was performed on 63 ferrets, of which 49 underwent general anesthesia for further examination. The most common clinical findings included malocclusion of mandibular second incisor teeth (95.2 %); extrusion of canine teeth (93.7 %); and abrasion and attrition of teeth (76.2 %). Tooth fractures were exclusively associated with canine teeth and found in 31.7 % of ferrets. Pulp exposure was confirmed in 60.0 % of fractured teeth. The normal gingival sulcus depth measured < 0.5-mm in 87.8 % of anesthetized ferrets. Clinical evidence of periodontal disease was present in 65.3% of anesthetized ferrets (gingivitis or probing depths > 0.5-mm), however, advanced periodontal disease (i.e. periodontal pockets > 2-mm or stage 3 furcation exposure) was not found upon clinical examination. There was no evidence of tooth resorption, dental caries, stomatitis, or oral tumors in the examined group of ferrets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Dentistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Veterinary


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