Message Number: YG4267 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Jacqueline Snyder
Date: 2001-06-03 10:49:00 UTC
Subject: Re:ECE Questions

Angie asked whether there was any way to buy a ferret without risking
ECE--she'd had a dreadful experience with a baby that hadn't seemed ill and
which was quarantined for a week. (Angie's experience sounds a lot like
ours a few years ago. It is a heartbreaking situation.)

You can minimize the ECE risk, although you can't prevent it entirely.

If you want baby ferrets, get them from a reputable breeder who doesn't
have new ferrets coming into his/her home very often. In our experience,
such ferrets have been handled gently and fed well, making them sociable
and healthy. Contact a ferret shelter near you if you need help finding a
good breeder. (There are many good breeders who raise only two or three
litters twice a year and therefore they aren't going to advertise publicly.)

Buying adult ferrets is a little trickier. Ferrets at shelters are
inherently more exposed to infectious diseases, because of the continuing
influx of new ferrets. But most shelter operators are well aware of this
risk, and they will work with you to help ensure minimal infection risk to
your ferrets.

Once your ferrets are ECE-exposed, you need to think about infection risks
in reverse--don't let your ferrets infect others.