Message Number: YG4081 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Karen Purcell, DVM
Date: 2001-05-28 17:24:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Signs of distemper, But its not?


You wrote:
> I have three Marshall Farms Ferrets. One was a rescue female, age
> unknown(Miss Kitty). Two were bought at a pet store age about 8
> months now(male-Bubba, female-Oddball). We recently had a stray dog
> in the house with distemper. The dog had to be put down. But then
> the 8 months old male started showin signs of illness(runny nose and
> ears, thick callous like growths on feet and ears, and #1 sign of a
> sick ferret he didn't want to play). We took all to the vet. The two
> females were given shots for distemper, Bubba was given antibiotics
> and a decongestant. Tests were ran for fungus, mitesand even some
> kind of biopsy was taken, but nothing abnormal was found. Miss Kitty
> then got sick and the Vet put her on the same medication. She died 2
> week later. Bubba then entered the hospital. After 4 weeks of
> constant care and medication, he got better. Thanks to the love and
> cring of one special vet and his whole staff. He's back to the old
> Bubba, no foot is safe in the house. The only sign of anything wrong
> is a bald tail. Oddball has not shown any signs of illness at
> amytime. Out of curiosity the Vet and I both would like to find out
> what happened. Would anyone have any ideas? Thank you for your time.
Had Bubba been vaccinated for Distemper? Sure sounds like what he
had - did you run any actual distemper tests (conjunctival swabs, for
example)? Ferrets and other animals that have been vaccinated can
contract a mild form of the disease, and survive. Ferrets that are
incompletely vaccinated or immune-compromised don't have much of a
Hope this helps,
-Dr. Karen

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