Comparison of digital rectal and microchip transponder thermometry in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)

Branden M. Maxwell*, Marla K. Brunell, Cara H. Olsen, David E. Bentzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Body temperature is a common physiologic parameter measured in both clinical and research settings, with rectal thermometry being implied as the 'gold standard.' However, rectal thermometry usually requires physical or chemical restraint, potentially causing falsely elevated readings due to animal stress. A less stressful method may eliminate this confounding variable. The current study compared 2 types of digital rectal thermometers-a calibrated digital thermometer and a common digital thermometer-with an implantable subcutaneous transponder microchip. Microchips were implanted subcutaneously between the shoulder blades of 16 ferrets (8 male, 8 female), and temperatures were measured twice from the microchip reader and once from each of the rectal thermometers. Results demonstrated the microchip temperature readings had very good to good correlation and agreement to those from both of the rectal thermometers. This study indicates that implantable temperature-sensing microchips are a reliable alternative to rectal thermometry for monitoring body temperature in ferrets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-335
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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