Message Number: YG2821 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-04-21 14:17:00 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..

Dear Michele:

The ferret Helicobacter (Helicobacter mustelae) which is ubiquitous
in ferrets has not yet been documented in causing disease in humans.
Human disease is caused by Helicobacter pylori, which is also seen in

I think that it is highly unlikely that you caught any Helicobacter
from your ferret. As almost all ferrets have H. mustelae, and most
of the rest of us have never had it, I think that you don't have
anything to worry about.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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