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Comparison of body temperature acquired via auricular and rectal methods in ferrets

Aguilar, Laura A.B., Chávez, Javier Ojeda, Watty, Andrés Ducoing
Journal of exotic pet medicine 2019 v.28 pp. 148-153
body temperature, ears, ferrets, mucosa, thermometers, veterinarians
Measuring body temperature in ferrets with rectal thermometers is often very stressful and potentially painful as it can damage the rectal mucosa. Recently, the veterinarians have used infrared ear thermometers since they record the temperature in a shorter time and are less invasive than the rectal equipment. This study compared several thermometers; two pediatric ear thermometers, a veterinary ear thermometer, a digital rectal thermometer, and a mercury-in-glass thermometer as a gold standard test for the body temperature of healthy ferrets (n = 27). The recording of auricular temperature in three study groups had a variation of approximately −1 °C compared to the one taken with rectal thermometers. According to this study, the measurement of temperature registered with auricular thermometers is not a precise method to obtain the body temperature and therefore does not replace the value obtained with rectal thermometers. They may not be used interchangeably in clinical practice. Nevertheless, because there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) among the values obtained with auricular thermometers, the recordings can be considered as accurate reference for auricular temperature in healthy ferrets.