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Ferret FAQ [5/5] - Medical Overview
Section - (11.2.3) Infectious diseases

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by Dr. Susan Brown, DVM

A. Influenza virus

       Caused by the same complex of viruses that cause disease in
   humans.  They can catch it from humans or other ferrets.
       Signs include a runny nose (clear discharge), runny eyes,
   sneezing, coughing, decrease but not total loss in appetite,
   lethargy and occasionally diarrhea.  In newborns it may be fatal.
       Treatments is generally nothing specific except rest and loving
   care.  They generally get over it in 3 to 7 days (recall how long
   your flu lasted, and they will generally be the same), The
   antihistamine product Chlor Trimeton may be used at 1/4 tablet 2
   times daily for sneezing that may interfere with sleeping or
   eating.  If the appetite is totally lost or if any green or yellow
   discharges appear or if there is extreme lethargy, these animals
   should be seen by a veterinarian.
       Prevention is washing hands and no kissing when you are dealing
   with a cold.  Also remember, they can give the flu right back to
   you!  

B. Canine Distemper

       A 100% fatal disease that is still very much out there!  It is
   caused by a virus that attacks many organs in the body.  The virus
   can stay alive for a long time on shoes and clothes that have come
   in contact with infected material.  (Such as from walks in parks or
   other areas where animals roam).
       Signs range from acute [quick] death to a slow progressive 
   disease which usually starts as an eye infection and progresses to
   a rash on the chin and lips and abdomen, and thickened hard pads on
   the feet.  Diarrhea, vomiting, severe lethargy are other possible
   signs.  The disease may be very drawn out with seizures and coma at
   the end.
       There is no treatment for distemper.  Euthanasia is the kindest
   solution as it is a long and painful way to go.
       Prevention is by vaccination with the Fromm-D [or Fervac-D]
   distemper vaccine [9.2].  Use of [some] other vaccines have 
   occasionally caused cases of distemper in ferrets.  The schedule
   would be the first shot at 6 weeks of age then 8 weeks, 11 weeks,
   14 weeks and annually thereafter.  The vaccine WILL NOT last for 3
   years in the face of an outbreak.  Ferrets do not need vaccines
   containing leptospirosis, hepatitis, parainfluenza or any other dog
   virus.

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Top Document: Ferret FAQ [5/5] - Medical Overview
Previous Document: (11.2.2) Parasitic health problems
Next Document: (11.2.4) Neoplasia (Cancer)

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM