Message Number: YG420 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Dr. Bruce Williams
Date: 2001-02-28 17:39:00 UTC
Subject: Parvoviral enteritis in Danish ferret

Recently, an article was posted on a large ferret discussion group
(and subsequently traveled to other groups) concerning a ferret that
was diagnosed with parvoviral enteritis in Denmark.

According to the post, the ferret was inoculated with a multivalent
canine vaccine, including canine parvovirus. The autopsy diagnosis
of this animal was parvoviral enteritis.

Questions arose that this was a mutated canine parvovirus that the
veterinarian had claimed had "cheated" the vaccine. Upon relation
and dissemination of the story, the possibility of ADV (also a
parvovirus) arose.

I would like to put this story to bed. I have the opportunity to
correspond at length with the owner today. A diagnosis of parvovirus
was given after gross necropsy, although no corroborating evidence is

Canine parvovirus is not an infection that would be transmissible to
ferrets. There is no cross-species infection of canine parvovirus
outside of canid species. Canine parvovirus vaccine is also not
protective against parvovirus that would infect ferrets or other
mustelids, including Aleutian disease.

The question was, could this enteritis be due to the parvovirus that
causes Aleutian disease? Very probably not - signs that would point
to Aleutian disease in the autopsy of a ferret are not enteritis, but
end-stage kidney disease, a very different necropsy presentation.

It is likely that the diagnosis of parvovirus was made in error in
this animal, and it is apparent that no additional labwork to prove
the diagnosis exists.

At this point, I consider this case closed and everyone can go back
to their normal ferret concerns.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM
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