Echocardiographic Measurements in Clinically Healthy African Hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) Anesthetized with Isoflurane
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2009

Anne Burgdorf-Moisuk, DVM; Julia K. Whittington, DVM; Mark A. Mitchell, DVM, MS, PhD; Robert O’Brien, DVM, MS, DACVR

Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA


Cardiomyopathy in African pygmy hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris) has been reported in the literature, but to the authors knowledge there have been no reports of echocardiographic parameters in the hedgehog. The goal of this study was to establish reference ranges for echocardiographic parameters in apparently healthy hedgehogs. Twenty hedgehogs were determined to be healthy via physical exam and auscultation. They were anesthetized with isoflurane gas anesthesia for the echocardiogram. Diagnostic images were obtained with the animals in left and right lateral recumbency allowing for consistent evaluation of the left atrium, aorta, aortic, pulmonary and mitral valves, left ventricle, and ventricular function. Due to the small size of patients and limited imaging window, tricuspid valve viewing was infrequent. Nonstandard positioning of the probe was needed to obtain standard parasternal short and long axis views of the heart. Statistically significant differences for interventricular septum systole, ejection fraction, stroke volume, fractional shortening, E point to septal separation, aortic diameter, left atrium to aortic diameter ratio, mitral valve E velocity, right ventricular outflow tract velocity maximum, and right ventricular outflow tract maximum pressure gradient were found in relation to age. Statistically significant differences were also found with left ventricular internal dimension in diastole, left ventricular internal dimension in systole, left posterior wall dimension in diastole, left posterior wall dimension in systole, aortic valve velocity maximum, and aortic valve maximum pressure gradient in regards to gender. The results suggest that differences in echocardiographic measurements exist in hedgehogs and should be considered when evaluating these animals.


Speaker Information
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Anne Burgdorf-Moisuk, DVM
Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL, USA

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