Coagulation values in normal ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) using selected methods and reagents

Keith G. Benson, Joanne R Paul-Murphy, Arlene P. Hart, Nicholas S. Keuler, Benjamin J. Darien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Accurate determination of commonly measured coagulation values would be useful in the diagnosis and management of coagulopathies in domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). We are unaware of reports of coagulation times in this species. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine reference values for prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (PTT), fibrinogen concentration, and antithrombin (AT) activity in ferrets using selected methods and reagents. Methods: Blood samples obtained from 18 clinically healthy ferrets were anticoagulated with 0.129 M sodium citrate in a ratio of 9 parts blood to 1 part anticoagulant. Plasma was collected and stored at - 70°C until analysis. PT and PTT were measured with a fibrometer and with an ACL 3000 automated system. PTT was measured with and without the addition of ellagic acid. Fibrinogen was assayed by a turbidimetric method. AT activity was determined using a chromogenic assay and pooled ferret plasma (100% activity). Differences in methods and reagents were evaluated using paired t tests. Results: PT was significantly longer using the flbrometer (12.3 ±0.3, 11.6-12.7 seconds) compared with the ACL (10.9±0.3, 10.6-11.6 seconds) (P<.01). PTT was not significantly different with the fibrometer (18.7 ±0.9, 17.5-21. 1 seconds) vs the ACL (18.1 ±1.1, 16.5-20.5 seconds), but was significantly longer on both analyzers when ellagic acid was added (flbrometer 20.4±0.8, 18.9-22.3 seconds; ACL 20.0± 1.0, 18.6-22.1 seconds) (P<.01). Fibrinogen concentration was 107.4± 19.8mg/dL (90.0-163.5 mg/dL), and AT activity was 96% ±12.7% (69.3-115.3%). Conclusion: These coagulation results for healthy ferrets will be useful in the evaluation of ferrets with coagulopathies, provided similar reagents and methods are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-288
Number of pages3
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antithrombin
  • Coagulation
  • Ferret
  • Fibrinogen
  • Partial thromboplastin time
  • Prothrombin time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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