BackgroundAtrioventricular canal defect is a rare congenital disorder of the heart and describes the presence of an atrial septal defect, a variable presentation of ventricular septal alterations including ventricular septal defect malformations in the mitral and tricuspid valves. The defect has been described in human beings, dogs, cats, pigs, and horses.Case presentationThis paper describes the case of a complete atrioventricular canal defect in a four-year-old intact male pet ferret (Mustela putorius furo), which was presented due to posterior weakness, ataxia, and decreased appetite. A loud systolic murmur, dyspnea, and hind limb paraparesis were detected during the clinical examination. Thoracic radiographs showed generalized cardiomegaly and lung edema. ECG showed sinus rhythm with prolonged P waves and QRS complexes. Echocardiography showed a large atrial septal defect, atrioventricular dysplasia, and a ventricular septal defect. Palliative treatment with oxygen, furosemide, spironolactone, enalapril, diltiazem, and supportive care was chosen as the therapy of choice. The ferret recovered gradually during hospitalization. A follow-up examination at three and six months showed stabilization of cardiac function.ConclusionsTo the authors knowledge, this is the first time an atrioventricular canal defect has been described in a pet ferret.