Message Number: YG2425 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Edward Lipinski
Date: 2001-04-10 12:58:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] ECE

Dear Katharine,

Your posting on ECE not acting like a highly transmissable 'virus' is
certainly a wake-up call to all of us who have blankly accepted the
supposition that the infective agent is a transmissable 'virus', or is
indeed a 'virus'.

It is from experiences similar to yours that we should perhaps more
closely examine the publications that claim to have definitively
identified the ECE agent as most recently claimed.

As you may or may not know, since I've not addressed this 'viral theory'
to any investigation myself, I am quite flabbergasted and concerned about
the ECE problem here at F.E.R.R.E.T.S. NW Foundation in the sense that
ECE has never been seen here. And this goes all the way back to 1981
when I first started keeping records of our activities here at our
shelter and husbandry.

As far as I may logically claim and as simply as possible, the one
practice here that is different from all other ferretariums world wide,
is that I prepare my own home-made ferret food, a cooked soup combination
of various meats and many different veggies, fruits, yogurt, garlic,
onions, brewer's yeast and a whole host of other ingredients, including
but not limited to the left-overs from yesterday's supper.

Most often as my pillow cradles my head and before sleep kills my
consciousness, I lie there thinking on this peculiar phenomenon of just
how nutrition can possibly influence the incidence of ECE. I must admit
I feel a deep sense of anguish and sorrow when I read of the many cases
of ECE and the needless ferret suffering and the tremendous burden of
treating infectees over such long periods of time following development
of this gastric disorder.

I repeatedly ask myself, what am I doing that keeps ECE a non-event here
in soggy Seattle?

Perhaps you can understand why, to my mind's eye, I look upon ECE as a
virus with a jaundiced view. If an identified coronavirus, why is there
no test available to determine the presence of the infective agent prior
to the horrible symptoms typical of its presence? And yet another
querry, why is there no effective preventative treatment after the
enteritis is first observed?

Hopefully in the years that follow ferret owners will rely more on making
their own ferret food and rely less and less on the commercial kibble
alone. Then again perhaps seekers of truth will uncover the mystery that
is typified by ECE and its subtle relationship to diet, and during this
search time, maybe the incidence of ECE may be reduced dramatically.

I hereby claim to be the worlds best 'Unauthority' and have a reluctance
to follow that which is not understandable in simple terms. Who is it
who sings, 'It is a gift to be simple?' - the Quakers?

Edward Lipinski @ F.E.R.R.E.T.S. NW Foundation

On Tue, 10 Apr 2001 06:01:09 -0400 katharine <shurcool@i...> writes:
> Mike Janke wrote:
> <ECE is definitely highly contagious. A ferret that comes in
> contact
> with another ferret that is an active carrier will come down with
> within 48-72 hours of that contact.
> I guess the next question is... are you sure the others haven't
> already
> had ECE and that's why they have not presented with symptoms?<
> Mike:
> I don't think you can say that a ferret WILL come down with ECE when
> coming
> in contact with an active carrier. Maybe some ferrets have a
> natural
> immunity to ECE? Or, is it possible for a ferret to have ECE and
> never
> show symptoms? When Dillon and/or Chester (rescues) brought ECE
> into my
> house
> in September, only Cedes and Lany came down with it. Champ never
> showed
> one
> single symptom, not even a loose stool (I've had Champ since he was
> 7 weeks
> old so I know he's never had ECE). Champ and Lany live together and
> I
> didn't separate them during this time. Cedes lives with Dillon and
> Chester. Cedes first showed symptoms a good 2 weeks after Dillon
> and
> Chester
> arrived. At first, I thought it was stress. Cedes had always been
> an only
> ferret
> and the symptoms first appeared shortly after I put Cedes, Dillon
> and
> Chester
> (Da Boyz) together. Though they were housed separately the first
> two
> weeks, there was contact. Cedes came down with it a week or so
> before Lany
> did.
> ECE was diagnosed through process of elimination, bloodwork,
> urinalysis, X-rays, and, finally, a consultation with a vet at the
> Univ. of
> Fla. vet school. That is definitely what they had (or as sure as we
> can
> be, given there's no definitive test). Dillon and Chester had been
> living
> together (after being separately picked up off the street) for
> several
> weeks at a wildlife rehab facility prior to them coming to my home.
> They
> showed
> no signs of it there. I'm not sure who the carrier was (or both of
> them?)
> but neither of them had any symptoms when it was active in my home.
> So,
> it's possible one of them also has a natural immunity.
> Now, I can't say for sure that Dillon and/or Chester were the
> carriers but
> the
> timing sure fits. Comments?
> Katharine
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