Message Number: YG3572 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-14 23:22:00 UTC
Subject: Re: vaccine question for the vets please

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Steph" <rumtum99@s...> wrote:

> My understanding that they are given in the hind leg, so that if
there is any sign of cancer due to the vaccine the whole leg can be

that may be the rationale that is in favor with vaccinating cats
today. Cats have a rare but tragic ability to develop highly
malignant neoplasms at the site of vaccination - this phenomenon
developed in the early 1990's and we still don't really know why.
Because of the malignant nature of these tumors, amputation is
usually required. Current thinking is that intramuscular injection
may actually be more protective.

In ferrets, however, this same reaction has not been seen (actually
one has been reported in the literature), so the question is
generally not applicable. In ferrets, injection into the muscle may
be associated with more pain, but due to the more vascular nature of
the area, absorption is better, and the chance of a reaction is less.

The scruff is a site of subcutnaeous vaccination, and has a higher
chance of poor absorption and formation of a local inflammatory
nodule. However, it doesn't hurt as much, it is easier to control
the ferret, and there is a diminished chance of hitting a nerve (the
hind leg has a large sciatic nerve which if hit, may result in
significant loss of function in the leg.)

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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