The American Ferret Association, Inc. Presents...
A Two-Day Advanced Course Management of the Ferret for Veterinary Professionals
October 6-7, 2006
Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh Green Tree
101 Radisson Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
The American Ferret Association is an organization devoted to the health and welfare of ferrets. We want our veterinarians to give
the best care and know the most about these special animals. That's why AFA is sponsoring this in-depth veterinary symposium, with the
following goals in mind:
This two-day symposium is a must for those who are treating ferrets or who plan to treat ferrets in their practices. There are an estimated
10 million ferrets in the U.S. today, making them the third most popular interactive companion animal. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians,
students and allied health professionals will be interested in the range of topics as well as the in-depth panel discussions that will
address the practitioner's questions about this fascinating carnivore species. Learn everything from the basics to cutting edge technology.
Find out about new approaches to diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Participate in discussions on various ways of treating malignancies in
- To help veterinarians meet the growing demand for quality ferret care.
- To encourage new practitioners to learn more about ferrets.
- To provide continuing education for experienced ferret veterinarians.
Sessions for this symposium are set up to offer a selection of fundamental and in-depth instruction so that veterinarians entering at any level of experience will gain useful information.
This course was approved for 13.5 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval.
Anne K. G. Bazilwich, DVM - Symposium Chair
Dr. Bazilwich is a founding board member and President of the Green Mountain Animal Sanctuary and originating member of the Vermont Animal
Cruelty Task Force. She is the Vermont liaison for Bioterrorism and Zoonotic Disease Awareness and Prevention, directed by the CDC and CFSPH
and a frequent spokesperson for the Vermont VMA. Dr. Bazilwich frequently lectures about ferrets and other topics at veterinary and
Natalie Antinoff, DVM, DIPL ABVP (Avian)
Founder and Director of Gulf Coast Avian and Exotics, Dr. Antinoff has authored numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles. She is a
consultant for the online Veterinary Information Network small mammal board and she has been an instructor for an online ABVP preparatory
course. Dr. Antinoff received the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Non-traditional Species Practitioner of the Year Award.
Mark Burgess, DVM
Owner of the Southwest Animal Hospital where 95% of the caseload is exotics, Dr. Burgess is a frequent lecturer and Exotic Pet Medicine
course instructor. He has also independently described many malignant and pathological conditions of ferrets, including the pathogenesis of
some megaesophagous cases in ferrets. Dr. Burgess has received research grants from both the Oregon Ferret Association and the AFA.
Michelle H. Fabiani, DVM, DIPL ACVR
After receiving her DVM in 1993, Dr. Fabiani worked in small animal practices for six years prior to pursuing a career in radiology. She was
board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology in 2003 and has since practiced at Gulf Coast Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging,
where she had previously completed her three-year residency. Dr. Fabiani has special interests in echocardiography, exotic animal imaging,
cross sectional imaging and interventional radiology techniques
Jörg Mayer, Dr Med Vet MSc
Well-published author and lecturer, Dr. Mayer is the Director of Exotic Services and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of
Environmental & Population Health at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has served as a visiting scientist at the United
States Environmental Protection Agency and as the veterinary member of an American research team, he has conducted field research on wild and
captive tree kangaroos in Papua, New Guinea.
Katrina Ramsell, PhD, DVM
Dr. Ramsell holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology; J. Neuoendocrine, Neurosci Lettr, J. Neutocytology, Soc Neurosci Abstr, Brain Res Bull and
FASEB have published her research articles. With colleagues, Drs. Michael Garner and Mark Bugess, Dr. Ramsell described and named Disseminated
Idiopathic Myositis in ferrets. She is a frequent presenter and active member of the Cascade Ferret Network, House Rabbit Society, Oregon
Ferret Association, Great Lakes Ferret Association and the AFA.
Valerie W. Staton, MS, PhD
Dr. Stanton is a Professor of Psychology at Ohio Dominican University specializing in animal behavior and biopsychology and she is a frequent
speaker and author; JAVMA has published her articles. Her current research interests focus on ferret behavior and she is a member of the
Animal Behavior Society and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.
Robert A. Wagner, VMD
Dr. Wagner holds joint positions at the University of Pittsburgh as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Veterinary Medicine in the Division of
Laboratory Animal Resources and a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine's Department of Medicine. He also has an
exotic animal practice at Fox Chapel Animal Hospital and he is the Attending Veterinarian for Zivic Labs. With more than twenty-five years of
exotic animal experience, Dr. Wagner has a fascinating job history, including veterinary positions at the Pittsburgh Zoo and National Aviary
Friday Session Schedule
Session I: Ferret Cardiology
Session II: Introduction to Ferret Ultrasound
Session III: Ferret Ultrasound Wet Lab
Saturday Session Schedule
Session I: Emergency Medicine & Critical Care
Session II: Ferret Oncology Overview
Session III: Studying Ferret Behavior
Session IV: Update on Adrenal Gland Disease
Session V: Disseminated Idiopathic Myositis - An Emerging Disease
Session VI: Gastrointestinal & Hepatic Diseases
Friday - A Wet Laboratory:
Ultrasound of the Ferret for Veterinary Professionals
Session I: Ferret Cardiology: A complete overview of ferret cardiac diseases, including dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
and acquired valvular disease, coupled with diagnostic evaluation strategies and treatment protocols. Ultrasound becomes essential in
differentiating between the cardiac diseases and in tailoring an appropriate treatment plan. Standard M-mode measurements include chamber
dimensions, wall thickness and indices of systolic function.
Session II: Introduction to Ferret Ultrasound: A basic introduction to ultrasound, including instrumentation ("knobology"), which will
enable each participant to utilize the equipment to its full potential. Artifacts, such as reverberation, mirror image, slice thickness,
refraction and shadowing will be discussed to help ensure that accurate, not artifactual, diagnoses are made. Then, a presentation about
ferret ultrasound specifics that will focus on the normal ultrasound appearance of major organs, plus hints on how to find certain organs,
i.e. the adrenal glands. A discussion and demonstration of comparison images of common diseases in ferrets seen via ultrasound will follow.
Session III: Ferret Ultrasound Wet Lab: After the lectures, veterinary registrants will several hours to practice ultrasound techniques on
ferret volunteers with professional supervision and guidance. There will be approximately one ultrasound machine per two veterinary
Saturday - An Advanced Course
Management of the Ferret for Veterinary Professionals
Session I: Emergency Medicine & Critical Care: A review of the stabilization, diagnostic work up and intervention of emergency conditions;
plus fluid/electrolyte therapy and supportive care, including the mistakes you can avoid.
Session II: Ferret Oncology Overview: A discussion of neoplastic diseases in ferrets, including diagnostic and treatment strategies, along
with ancillary treatments to help you better care for these patients; plus, an overview of lymphoma in ferrets with preliminary information.
Session III: Studying Ferret Behavior: A review of literature, experimental and "real world" observations of ferret behavior, along with
intervention strategies for clinicians and pet owners.
Session IV: Clinical Workup of Adrenal Disease: A discussion of the diagnostic evaluation of adrenal gland disease and why we need to
include more ultrasound exams; plus, a review of treatment options and how to determine the best protocol.
Session V: Disseminated Idiopathic Myositis: Discovered in 2003, a discussion of the clinical and pathological correlations, epidemiology
and outcomes of cases seen by one of the original investigators.
Session VI: Gastrointestinal & Hepatic Diseases: The diagnostic and treatment possibilities for ulcers and megaesophagus, differential
diagnoses of diarrhea, hepatitis, GI neoplasia and more; plus, important inter-relationships between GI and hepatic pathology.