Message Number: YG2813 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-21 07:37:00 UTC
Subject: Re: helicbactor question

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Michele" <msperling@c...> wrote:
> Hi all I know I do not post often and that is because I have been
ill. I
> just found out my biopsy report came back that I have the
helicobacter and
> that is why I have been ill. I had an endoscope of my upper GI
tract because
> of the symptoms I was having. Okay now all of you must be asking
why I am
> posting this? Well the two ferrets I had who passed on one had the
> helicobacter and had a bleeding ulcer from it. Was placed on the
usual meds
> and got better then got it back after months of being symptom free.
> question is can humans get the helicobacter from their ferrets? My
> doc did not want to say yes or now but said it can spread via
saliva and
> feces. I was the sole caretaker of the ferret with helicobacter and
> clean his cage out daily. I just wanted to know if it is possible
to have
> gotten this from my ferret? His symptoms first showed up in August
of last
> summer and mine showed up in September. I am now on biaxin and
nexium to get
> rid of this awful bacteria. I cannot wait until this gnawing
> feeling goes away and now can really understand how a ferret would
not want
> to eat and see first hand how he felt.. I thank anyone here who
might be
> able to answer my question and if it is not contagious I guess I was
> un-lucky in getting it..
> ferret hugs to all here,
> Michele

Hi Michele,

I believe that the role of helicobacter in the etiology of ulcers in
people is still not completely clarified. There are people who have
helicobacter and do not have ulcers. And not everyone who has ulcers
has helicobacter. However, if you have ulcers, AND you have
helicobacter, eradicating the helicobacter decreases the incidence of
recurrent ulcers. Also, I believe the helicobacter in ferrets is
called something like "helicobacter mustelae" (that was what I was
told 5 years ago when my ferret got ulcers) and in people it
is "helicobacter pylori." So, there is probably something different
about the two which can differentiate them. As to whether or not
helicobacter mustelae can infect people, I have no idea. Perhaps the
vets will be able to help.

Get well soon!