Chapter 20 Diseases of the Musculoskeletal System
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system are not common in ferrets. They may suffer traumatic long-bone fractures or spinal injury from rough play or falls. Treatment is similar to that of the dog and cat.
As with all small animals, fractures and dislocations from falls and rough handling do occur. Fractures can be treated as for the avian and reptilian patient, using splints, casts, or lightweight internal fixation.
Improper handling is a frequent cause of paralysis in the domestic rabbit. Damage can also occur as a result of falling or being jumped on by other rabbits while playing. Typically the rabbit will kick or twist suddenly, causing fracture of the vertebral column with damage to the spinal cord (Fig. 20-1).
Figure 20-1 Radiograph of a spinal fracture in a rabbit.
(From Quesenberry KE, Carpenter JW: Ferrets, rabbits, and rodents, ed 2, St Louis, 2004, Saunders, by permission.)