Cystocentesis of Ferrets (Disease Investigation & Management - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information

Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Management / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords  
  • Have the ferret restrained in lateral recumbency. (P120.2006.w6)
    • Distract the ferret with a treat. (J213.2.w7)
    • The ferret should be sedated or anaesthetised. (B232.17.w17)
  • Clip the caudal abdomen and prepare as for surgery. (B232.17.w17)
  • Palpate and stabilise the bladder using one hand. (B232.17.w17, P120.2006.w6)
  • Use a 25-gauge 16 mm (5/8 inch) long needle attached to a 3-6 mL syringe. (B232.17.w17, P120.2006.w6)
    • 23 gauge one inch needle. (J213.2.w7)
  • Enter the bladder through the lateral body wall. (J213.2.w7)
  • Withdraw urine from the bladder. (B232.17.w17)
  • If the ferret struggles, withdraw the needle quickly to avoid bladder laceration. (P120.2006.w6)
(B232.17.w17, J213.2.w7, P120.2006.w6)
Appropriate Use (?)
  • To obtain an uncontaminated urine sample for bacterial culture and sensitivity testing. (B631.20.w20)
  • To relieve pressure on the bladder if the urethra is blocked and uretheral catheterisation is unsuccessful.
Notes --
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Only useful if the bladder is full (palpable). (B232.17.w17, J213.2.w7)
  • The bladder may be lacerated if the ferret struggles during the procedure. (P120.2006.w6)
    • This risk can be eliminated by anaesthetising the ferret. (B232.17.w17)
  • Consider carefully before undertaking cystocentesis in a ferret with thrombocytopaenia (< 10,000 platelets/ÁL). (B660.41.w41)
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • 25-gauge needle. (P120.2006.w6)

  • 3-6 mL syringe. (P120.2006.w6)

Expertise level / Ease of Use
  • This procedure should only be carried out by an individual with appropriate clinical training and practical experience.
Cost/ Availability
  • Not expensive; there is a cost for sedation/anaesthesia to ensure the procedure can be carried out safely.
Legal and Ethical Considerations In some countries there may be legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery." (See: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).
Author Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
References B232.17.w17, B660.41.w41, J213.2.w7, P120.2006.w6

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