Message Number: YG3836 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-20 23:29:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Rabies? Can you tell?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "StarAngels" <starangels@q...> wrote:
> how can you tell if a Ferret has rabies? what are the signs? or is
there a
> good site to read up on this..
> now if someone adopted ferrets with no history and then they get
bit and
> draw blood
> are them human sign's to watch for?
> no this did not happen to me but to a friend
> THanks

The pathogenesis and symptomatology of rabies in ferrets is extremely
variable,w ith both furious and dumb forms being documented. Any
neurologic sign may potentially be a presenting symptom of rabies.
The offsetting factor here is that rabies is extremely uncommon in
ferrets that the chanceof your frind enountering a rabid ferret is

In the case of a bite incident, the ferret should be closely watched
under a vet's supervision (but may be quarantined at home) for any
signs of illness. A ten-day quarantine will sufice - if the ferret
is healthy at the end of the period, then the likelihood of rabies is
probably nil. The ferret should show signs long before the human

A ferret bite does not require panic or rushing off to get rabies
shots - I've been bitten many many times, and I rarely pay attention
to them anymore (at least after I get those chenched teeth off my

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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