Man sees ferret in MRI scan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Man sees ferret in MRI scan

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MOSCOW, Idaho. – Forget about protecting the privacy of medical records, Leonard Koepke is showing an MRI of his shoulder to anyone who will look. The roofing contractor says a shadowed image appears to be the head and tail of a ferret.

"It's just a really cool anomaly," he said with a smile, "it's not Elvis, it's not the Virgin Mary, it's a ferret."

Koepke had the images taken after years of pain in his shoulder. His doctor diagnosed the pain as a rotator cuff injury.

While reviewing scans from his shoulder, Koepke asked his doctor if there was a ferret in his arm.

"I thought it was kind of a bizarre question because I was looking elsewhere until he pointed it out to me," said Dr. Steven Pennington.

Pennington says what appears to be a ferret is actually tendon and perhaps some muscle.

A total of 175 images were taken of Koepke's arm. Only one appears to show the head of a small animal.

Koepke says a pet ferret wandered away from his home 15 years ago. Koepke assumed the animal named "Slinky" was picked-up by a coyote.

"He's baaaaaack," he said with a grin. "Apparently it's come back to sit in my shoulder."

Koepke says the image has generated a lot of jokes and discussion around his home and circle of friends.

"It's just fun," said Koepke. "It's a break from the usual day."

Koepke will miss three to four months of work when he has the rotator cuff repaired in February.   

He says he is sad to see his ferret leave, but he hopes surgery will repair the pain that has plagued his shoulder for years.

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