Message Number: YG1002 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-09 22:26:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Toxoplasmosis in ferrets

Mike, you constantly amaze me, pulling up all those old quotes.

But this is indeed true - ferrets, like any mammal, can contract
Toxoplasmosis, but only cats can pass the infective eggs in the
feces - cats are the definitive host. The only feces that you can
catch toxo from is cat feces.

Any mammal can pass infective organisma living within the cells of
their body if they are eaten without being cooked well, however -
this is why it is recommended that all pregnant women cook their meat
(beef, pork) well. If you eat a cat, or a ferret, or a kangaroo, you
could theoretically ingest the organism that way, but I doubt there
is any likelihood of that.

The chance of contracting Toxo from your ferret is astronomical, but
let's make sure your husband cleans up after those cats!

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
Join the Ferret Health List at

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Mike Janke" <mjanke@m...> wrote:
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., wsmith <wsmith@i...> wrote:
> > So I'm curious as to the risks - but not too worried
> > as we've had ferrets for four years, so if it is common, I was
> > probably exposed long ago before I was pregnant
> I think what Dr. Williams once said on the FML says it
> all... "Ferrets cannot pass infective toxoplasmosis oocytes in
> feces. To contract Toxoplasmosis from a ferret, one would have to
> poorly cooked ferret meat."
> So unless you plan on eating your ferrets raw any time soon, it
> doesn't look like you have much to worry about. Of course, there's
> no need to tell your husband this, so let him keep cleaning the
> litter boxes. :-)
> > PS - Luggie went for his blood glucose test and failed miserably,
> > with a 2.3 (sounds like a different scale than I've seen here,
> > 6.8 last time was borderline), and is starting on prednisone
> I'm curious what scale this is. I've never heard of a blood
> reading expressed in numbers like that. A ferret that had a blood
> glucose of 2.3 or even 6.8mg/dl would surely have to be dead.
> Mike