From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-05-17 22:06:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Are we over vaccinating our ferrets?
The sections below my note are exerts from the current
version of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Control.
Note that when I checked with all of the states in 1998 to see
how they were following the Compendium the differences were
consistently toward being even more careful than the
Compendium, so states may absolutely require such precautions
as annual vaccinations to avoid death or a 6 month quarantine.
You can find out about your own state regulations from your
State Public Health Veterinarian in charge of rabies policy.
There are variations among the individual states.
Note the paragraph about possible exposures.
ANY ANIMAL POTENTIALLY EXPOSED TO RABIES VIRUS (See Part III,
A. 1. Rabies Exposure) BY A WILD, CARNIVOROUS MAMMAL OR A BAT
THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR TESTING SHOULD BE REGARDED AS HAVING
BEEN EXPOSED TO RABIES.
a) DOGS, CATS, AND FERRETS
Unvaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal
should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to
have this done, the animal should be placed in strict
isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being
released. Animals with expired vaccinations need to be
evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Dogs, cats, and ferrets
that are currently vaccinated should be revaccinated
immediately, kept under the owner's control, and observed for
6) MANAGEMENT OF ANIMALS THAT BITE HUMANS
a) A healthy dog, cat, or ferret that bites a person
should be confined and observed daily for 10 days;
administration of rabies vaccine is not recommended during the
observation period. Such animals should be evaluated by a
veterinarian at the first sign of illness during confinement.
Any illness in the animal should be reported immediately to
the local health department. If signs suggestive of rabies
develop, the animal should be euthanized, its head removed,
and the head shipped under refrigeration (not frozen) for
examination of the brain by a qualified laboratory designated
by the local or state health department. Any stray or unwanted
dog, cat, or ferret that bites a person may be euthanized
immediately and the head submitted as described above for