Message Number: YG1799 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-03-27 22:29:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Kif's interesting necropsy (VETS)

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Jaclyn" <jaclynv@e...> wrote:
> Hi to the vets and anyone interested,
> I just spoke with the veterinarian who dealt with Kif. She had
> suspected a serious case of lymphocytic leukemia. She sent tissue
> samples to the lab as part of the necropsy and we just received the
> results.
> Well, totally out of left field came the diagnosis. He had a rare
> form of pneumonia...he had somehow come in contact with
> She suggested that I have the other ferrets and possible ourselves
> tested for this, as it is often gotten by coming in contact with
> particularly pigeons, droppings.
> Apparently, a lot of people can get it and not know it. It only
> up with compromised immune systems such as AIDS or Hodgkin's.
> How long could he have had this without us knowing? Also, I can't
> imagine where he got seagull poop a possibility? I used
> take them to beach to dig in the sand once in a while.
> Doctors, do you have any opinions or anything to say about this???

Well, not much, except for the fact that this is pretty rare. I have
one case in the archive, so I would be interested in contacting your
vet or the pathologists to possibly get a look at this very uncommon

The source of cryptococcosis is usually not identified. Bird feces
is probably the most common source of cryptococcosis, but all of us
probably contact it every day. It is most commonly seen in humans
with immunosuppression, but the one case that I have seen did not
appear to be immunosuppressed. However, it wouldn't hurt to look
closely at this particular ferret for evidence of immunosuppression.

Cryptococcosis is a fungus (also known as a yeast) infection that is
most commonly seen in cats and horses. It can affect the skin only,
or the entire system. Pulmonary infection is common, and is most
often latent, and first diagnosed at necropsy (as seen in this case.)

I would say that the chance of additional cases is pretty remote, but
it is always worth looking into, especially if you or any family
members are immunosuppressed, very young, very old, or on chronic
steroid administration.

With kindest regards,

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