Message Number: YG1406 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-17 23:34:00 UTC
Subject: Re: CD vaccination information/Vet Question

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "bill and diane killian"
<killian@z...> wrote:

Assuming that Galaxy-D is actually effective in ferrets - it
> probably is despite not having been tested per se.

While it was not tested by the manufacturers, Elizabeth Williams, a
wildlife vet in Wyoming who works extensively with the black footed
ferrets had the opportunity to try in in comparison to an subunit
vaccine (that is produced by Merial, and currenlty used in many zoos
to vaccinate exotic animals against distemper.) I will post the
abstract below. For information purposes, the MLV vaccine in the
abstract was Galaxy.

This is not to say, however, that Galaxy is totally safe in ferrets -
there are reactions (although less than with Fervac-D, and probably
equivalent or therabouts to those seen with the Imrab rabies
product.) The Galaxy vaccine gave very sufficient titers to the
animals in this study, with no side effects.

With kindest regards,

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

J Wildl Dis 1996 Jul;32(3):417-23
Vaccination of black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) x Siberian
polecat (M. eversmanni) hybrids and domestic ferrets (M. putorius
furo)against canine distemper.

Williams ES, Anderson SL, Cavender J, Lynn C, List K, Hearn C, Appel

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie
82070, USA.

An inactivated canine distemper vaccine with adjuvant and a modified-
live virus (MLV) vaccine were evaluated using black-footed ferret
(Mustegla nigripes) x Siberian polecat (Mustela eversmanni) hybrids
us surrogates for endangered black-footed ferrets. For comparative
purposes, we also vaccinated domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo)
with the MLV vaccine. Response to vaccination was measured by
clinical observation, hematology, dynamics of serum virus
neutralizing antibodies, and challenge with virulent canine distemper
virus. No clinical signs attributable to the vaccines were observed.
Transient leukopenia occurred in hybrid ferrets that received MLV
vaccine and there was marked lymphopenia for approximately 52 days
post-vaccination. Lymphopenia was present for approximately 21 days
in domestic ferrets vaccinated with MLV vaccine. Neutralizing
antibodies against canine distemper virus were detected 14 days post-
vaccination in hybrids receiving MLV vaccine and most titers were >
1:1024 for the 791 days of the study. Antibody titers in hybrids
vaccinated with the inactivated vaccine were significantly lower. All
eight hybrid ferrets that received MLV vaccine survived challenge
with virulent canine distemper virus without clinical disease.
However, one of seven hybrids vaccinated with the inactivated vaccine
developed canine distemper and was euthanized; two other hybrids
became clinically ill but survived. The MLV vaccine may be useful in
prevention of canine distemper in black-footed ferrets, but until
additional studies of efficacy and safety are completed, use of the
inactivated vaccine is appropriate.