Did you know that ferrets are predisposed to a variety of renal diseases? Their unique physiology includes low levels of creatinine, which can cause urogenital issues pet owners need to be on the lookout for. If your ferret seems to be straining to urinate, it is worthwhile to take your furry friend to a ferret veterinarian since your ferret may have a urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections are painful and if left untreated can result in dangerous urogenital complications, so early identification and intervention are beneficial.

Urinary Tract Infections in Ferrets

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria attack and colonize the urinary bladder and/or upper portion of the urethra. Urinary tract infections present most often in older ferrets[1]. The condition is painful and causes inflammation of the urethra and bladder [2]. A condition known as urolithiasis can also predispose ferrets to urinary tract infections, as the inflammation may leave the ferret susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. Urinary tract infections are life-threatening and need to be addressed by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Here are some common symptoms associated with ferret urinary tract infections:

  • Cloudy/smelly urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Strained urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Alopecia

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections in Ferrets:

Ferret, UTI, urinary tract infection

If you think your ferret may have a urinary tract infection, the best thing you can do is get a quick and accurate diagnosis from your vet as soon as you notice symptoms. Delay in care puts your furry friend at risk for severe complications, as urinary tract infections can travel to the kidneys, heart, or elsewhere. Fortunately, the outlook for recovery is good pending appropriate antibiotic administration. An antibiotic treatment plan will likely be advised, and your veterinarian may provide dietary lifestyle changes to help [3].

Advancements in Ferret Urinary Tract Diagnostics

Considering the importance of understanding if the bacterial profile of your ferret’s urinary tract infection, diagnostic tools are critical in delivering quality clinical care. Urease-producing bacteria are of particular concern, and consequently, the antibiotics used should be chosen to most efficiently target opportunistic pathogens (such as Staphylococcus or Proteus) [3]. Although culture-based urinalysis has historically been lauded as the convention, scientific research has provided increasing evidence for the diagnostic benefits of Next-Gen sequencing (NGS) technology. Conventional urinalysis has significant limitations in sensitivity to various microorganisms, as many remain undetected by culture methods [5]. The inability for culture-based urinalysis to detect various microorganisms can result in “no growth” cultures despite symptomatic UTI presentations [5]. This is particularly problematic in cases of antibiotic-resistant strains of opportunistic pathogens, and so having the diagnostic knowledge to assign appropriate medical intervention is key [6].

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial test utilizes NGS technology to detect and quantify microbial DNA through untargeted and comprehensive sequencing and quantitative comparisons to reference databases [5]. Considering urine is non-sterile in both health and disease states, the MiDOG NGS technology provides a useful opportunity to shed light on the microbial makeup of your ferret’s urine for clinical application [5,7]. The MiDOG microbial test is grounded on scientific research that provides veterinarians DNA evidence for the guided treatment of ferret infections. A MiDOG microbial test provides the technologies for the accurate identification of all microorganisms within a pet’s sample, independent of culturing.

 

the midog all in one collection kit shown with it's components

 

The MiDOG Urine Collection Kit is a useful tool to help diagnose your dog’s urinary infection.

Find out if your vet uses MiDOG before you book your next appointment!

For health-related questions about your ferret or other exotic pet, reach out to a veterinarian that specializes in exotic pets.

References:

[1] Di Girolamo, N. (2020). Disorders of the urinary and reproductive systems in Ferrets. Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents, 39-54. doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-48435-0.00004-6

[2] Wolf, T. M. (2009). Ferrets. Manual of Exotic Pet Practice, 345-374. doi:10.1016/b978-141600119-5.50016-0

[3] Brown, S. A. (2013, October). Urolithiasis in small animals – urinary system. Retrieved March 11, 2021, from https://www.merckvetmanual.com/urinary-system/noninfectious-diseases-of-the-urinary-system-in-small-animals/urolithiasis-in-small-animals

[4] Orcutt, C. J. (1998). Emergency and critical care of ferrets. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice, 1(1), 99-126. doi:10.1016/s1094-9194(17)30157-3

[5] Krumbreck, J., 2021. Canine Urin Microbiome: Assessment of Bacterial and Fungal Populations in Clinically Healthy Dogs Using Next-Generation-Sequencing. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

[6] Hall, J., Holmes, M. and Baines, S., 2013. Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of canine urinary tract pathogens. Veterinary Record, 173(22), pp.549-549.

[7] Burton, E., Cohn, L., Reinero C., et al. 2017. Characterization of the urinary microbiome in healthy dogs. PLoS One, 12: e0177783.

midog small sized collection kit

Find out if your vet uses MiDOG before you book your next appointment!


Categories: Ferrets, Next-Gen DNA Sequencing Technology, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

animal diagnostics

Validated by Veterinarians

“Clients expect their veterinarians to stay up to date on all matters that affect the health and well being of their non-human family members. The current technique that we have used to determine the presence and antibiotic sensitivity of organisms causing disease in our pets is over a century old.

With the emergence of dangerous antibacterial resistance, it is critical that veterinarians are able to offer laser focused diagnostics and treatment. MiDog enables us to offer care that exceeds the typical standard of care.”

Bernadine Cruz, DVM, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital Laguna Woods, CA

“I love the absolute abundance and comparing the fungal with bacterial infection. I do not worry as much about getting a false negative urinary infection reading as I do with traditional urine cultures. Several times the same urine would culture negative but MiDOG would detect pathogens.”

Michael Morgan, DVMQuail Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“The MiDOG All-in-One Test is amazing, I would use it instead of culture and sensitivity.  Such rapid and detailed results, I will reach for MiDOG before culture next time!

Thank you very much MiDOG, for sharing the opportunity to try your technology.”

Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM, President of Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC – Boston, MA

The MiDOG All-in-One Microbial Test is our new gold standard of pathogen identification. The results are so accurate and valuable – especially with assessing both bacterial and fungal infections with the same sample.

Thank you MiDOG!”

Kathy Wentworth, DVM, Diplomate ABVP Canine and Feline Practice – PetPoint Medical Center, Irvine, CA

“The MiDOG staff was extremely helpful and supportive.”

Cathy Curtis, DVM – London, UK

“I have had great results using the MiDOG® Test. Compared to traditional culture tests, I am better able to target the treatment for dogs because the MiDOG® Test is so sensitive that it identifies all pathogens including bacteria and fungi, as well as antibiotic sensitivity.

The cost and turnaround time are about the same as a culture test, but I get much more data. The test has great performance and I believe the NGS technology will be a game changer for veterinarians treating dogs with lesions or other infections.”

Michael Kavanagh, DVM, Practice owner – Saddleback Animal Hospital, Tustin, CA

“It’s helpful to have an NGS spectrum because it gives you a broader insight of what’s happening and what might be going on.”

Richard Harvey BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS – European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology – Head of Dermatology, Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service – Solihull, England UK

“I have been using MiDog for over 4 years now and exclusively as my test of choice for all cultures for 3 years.  It is so great to submit a culture and feel confident there will be a result when it comes back, especially for urine cultures.  The reports were intimidating at first because they contain so much information.  After the first few, I am now quickly able to glance over it and pick out the highlights.  I can then come back later and pour over all the details.  I have been extremely pleased with my patients’ results using the test as well.  I don’t envision ever going back to traditional culture and susceptibilities again.”

Brian M. Urmson, DVM, Columbiana Veterinary Associates

“As an exotic veterinarian, there are numerous tests we have to consider to check specific bacterial and fungal organisms based on the species. MiDOG eliminates the need for many of these separate samples and provides definitive results quickly to help us treat our patients more efficiently and effectively. The lab is wonderful to work with and has never rejected our samples- they even processed a lizard toe we amputated and determined the cause of skin infection.”

Dr. Melissa Giese, Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital

“MiDOG’s diagnostic approach offers the unique ability to identify pathogens that evade traditional culture and sensitivity testing. I have found that adding a molecular based testing approach in the form of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from MiDOG to my routine diagnostic cultures can be extremely helpful in the identification and diagnosis of uncommon pathogens in veterinary medicine.”

Dr. Wayne Rosenkrantz, Animal Dermatology Clinic – Tustin

“She [Dr. Krumbeck] really did a great job of making complicated concepts accessible and demonstrating the value of your services. I’m really looking forward to working with MiDOG on my research project!”

Dr. Yaicha Peters, Animal Dermatology Clinic – San Diego

“As a proud collaborator with MiDOG, I deeply appreciate their dedication to fostering partnerships between industry and veterinary experts. Their commitment to enhancing diagnostic quality for veterinarians is commendable. In my experience, their support has been invaluable, earning them a ‘Double A+, Triple Star’ rating. Their assistance has been faultless, contributing significantly to the success of my projects and studies. I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration.”

Dr. Richard Harvey, BVSc DVD DipECVD PhD FRSB FRCVS; European Specialist in Veterinary Dermatology

“We’re seeing that, if we prescribe too many antibiotics or they’re taken too frequently, animals are developing inappropriate or pathogenic strains of bacteria. We’re also seeing that our antibiotics are just not working against them anymore… It’s a good example of why we need better diagnostic testing, like MiDOG, so that we’re selecting the correct antibiotic every time our patients have an infection.”

Dr. Alissa Rexo, DVM, CVA, DACVD, Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Dermatology

“The NGS technique as offered by MiDOG is wonderful because pathogens like Melissococcus plutonius, for example, are difficult to grow and keep alive in the laboratory. A standard laboratory cannot truly examine or even properly diagnose this pathogen in bee hives at this time. But with NGS, we can reliably diagnose it.”

Dr. Joerg Mayer, Entomologist and Microbiologist at the University of Georgia

“For me, as a clinician and as a researcher, I see the immense value in the product [the All-in-One Test]. I have had great success using MiDOG clinically, including identifying Mycoplasma in a 24 year old pigeon, a Nannizziopsis spp in a ball python from a large pet distributor, Mycoplasma and Fusobacterium necrophorum co-infection in a peacock, and to identify an abnormal gut GI in a technician’s dog that tested negative for everything else (but we were able to establish what was abnormal, and work toward fixing it).”

Dr. Jeremy Rayl – Veterinarian, Block House Creek Animal Hospital, Cedar Park, Texas