Cytological analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid acquired by bronchoscopy in healthy ferrets: A pilot study

  • Bercier, Marjorie (Student)
  • Langlois, Isabelle (Co-investigator)
  • Dunn, Marilyn (Researcher)
  • Hélie, Pierre (Researcher)
  • Burns, Patrick (Principal Investigator)
  • Gara-Boivin, Carolyn (Researcher)

Project Details


The objective of this study was to investigate the normal cytological evaluation of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in healthy adult ferrets (N = 12). These ferrets underwent bronchoscopy and BAL using sterile saline [1.5 mL/kg body weight (BW)]. Percentage of fluid recovered, total leukocyte count, differential leukocyte count, and cell count of the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) were determined. The mean percentage of lavage volume recovered from the right lung and left lung were 67.8 ± 14.9% and 69.7 ± 20.0%, respectively. Gender (P = 0.12) and weight (P = 0.17) did not significantly affect the mean percentage of recovered volume. The mean percentage of recovered volume (P = 0.47) and the mean leukocyte count (P = 0.17) from the right and left lung were not significantly different. Macrophages were the main leukocyte component of the lavages, followed by neutrophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils. The mean proportion of ELF in BAL fluid was 9.3 ± 3.7% v/v. Bronchoscopy is clinically useful for collecting good quality BAL samples for cytological analysis in ferrets. The leucocyte differential was established, which may help veterinarians to make better clinical decisions when treating respiratory disease. Further studies are required with a larger group in order to establish the healthy reference intervals for BAL values in ferrets.

Layman's description

A pilot study investigation the normal bronchoalveolar lavage fluid analysis in ferrets.
Effective start/end date1/02/1331/01/14