Message Number: YG1879 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-30 05:29:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Dr. Williams - Experience begets Understanding?

Bruce Williams' reply to Edward Lipinski:

> > 9.) Why is the incidence of 'cancer' so very much higher in USA
> > ferrets than in other countries where ferrets are kept?
> That is a wide open question, and there are many possible answers.
> personal belief is that it is genetically bred into the American
> ferrets, which started with a relatively small gene pool producing
> the vast majority of animals for the pet trade. We also have a
> high incidence of other diseases, such as cardiomyopathy in
> bloodlines.
> Other people may point to dietary influences, the influence of
> photoperiod, etc., but a genetic background appears to be the most
> able to explain the tremendous differences in ferquency between
> American and non-American bloodlines.

I am not a vet, nor do I have any statistical data to back me up, but
I couldn't agree more. I live in Sweden as some of you know, and
I have suspected for a long time there might be a genetic
predisposition to certain diseases in American blood-lines.
When I try to raise this point, the usual response is
"there are such a larger number of ferrets in the US, of course they
will have a larger number of sick ferrets" or they may point to the
diet, early neutering etc. I can't argue with this since there are no
statistics or research to proof my point.
I'm not saying we don't have these diseases in Sweden too, because we
do, but in IMO, they are not nearly as common as in the US.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a slowly increasing number of
adrenal/insulinoma/cardio here as well. Although I believe we have
inflicted this on ourselves, it would be interesting to know how many
of the affected ferrets originate from American imports.