Message Number: YG1382 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-17 06:01:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] CD vaccination information/Vet

In a message dated 3/16/01 5:31:06 PM Eastern Standard Time,
ferretwise@m... writes:

<< I a looking for the source pertaining to CD vaccinations on the 9, 11, 14
week schedule
or 9, 12, 15 week schedule? >>

And Dr. Otten responds:
>>According to both Dr. Fox (in his book) and Dr. Rosenthal (in Hillyer and
Vaccination recommendations are to vaccinate ferrets for Canine Distemper
Virus on 3 week intervals after 6 weeks of age OR serial vaccinations at:
6-8, 10-12, and 13-14 weeks of age. Both of these recommendations are made
based upon the study reported in vol. 193 JAVMA by Appel + Harris in 1988.<<

Hi Alicia - That older kit vaccination schedule probably came from me and is
not backed by any source. Dr. Otten provides recommended schedule for Canine
Distemper vaccinations from an issue of JAVMA.

I don't start my kits on their vaccination series until they have completely
weaned from their mother, and on the theory that the kits are recieving
antibodies for protection until fully weaned. Since I keep my kits with
their mother until they are between 12-15 weeks of age, and frequently see
the kits continue to nurse until near or at that age before completely
weaning, I give vaccinations on a schedule that would be considered late.
Therefore, it is not unusual for a kit to go to a new home before receiving
the complete series of three. When a kit goes to their new family, I offer
to complete the series. Returning for the 2nd & 3rd or the 3rd vaccination
gives me a chance to check over the kit to see how well she/he is thriving
and to answer any owner questions. I also strongly urge the new owver of a
kit to see a vet for a check-up ASAP. This insures the kit is healthy and
sets a basis for the veterinarian to have a charted history for future visits.

VET Question: I was interested to see a discussion on yearly CD vaccinations
here not long ago. I thought I was one of only a few who personally felt that
distemper vaccinations might not be needed for older ferrets. I don't
vaccinate my personal ferrets after 3 or 4.

My Question: The reference from the JAVMA is from 1988. At that time, most
kits came from MF or Path Valley and reached the pet stores at about 6 or so
weeks of age. Also, kits of 6-7 weeks raised by hobby breeders would follow
that schedule.
Without going back, I believe Dr. Williams recently indicated the need for a
series of 3 vacccinations to protect kits. But....are 3 vaccinations really
necessary if you start the kit later? Ferrets coming into shelters with no
vaccination history are always vaccinated and have a 2nd booster 3 weeks
later. That is deemed to protect them even though they might never have been
vaccinated before.
I would be grateful for the opinion of the doctors here. What concerns me is
the delicate immune system of the ferret and the tendency later for some to
develop severe if not fatal allergic reactions. Although I have never had a
distemper reaction (I use Galaxy-D), two ferrets from here have died from
severe Fervac reactions. I would be grateful for your input. Thank you.
Best Regards, Meg