Message Number: YG4439 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-06-09 08:17:00 UTC
Subject: Re: ECE

Mike Janke wrote:
<If the new ferret is an active carrier of ECE,
and yours have never
had it, you'd have to keep them separate for up to
a year.<

What do you mean by an "active carrier of ECE"?
Does that mean they have noticeable symptoms?

Since I unwittingly exposed my household to it
last fall (8 months ago), I don't worry about it
anymore. I figure everyone's been exposed now and
they are probably not going to pass it on to
newcomers. Emma is my latest rescue and she
hasn't shown the first sign, thank God.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no way
to totally prevent exposure to ECE except by never
getting another ferret, never going into pet
stores, never being around other ferrets
(including at the vets office) and never taking
your ferrets out of the house (impossible since,
at a minimum, they need to go to the vet). While
mine had ECE (and for several months after
symptoms subsided), each time I took one to the
vet, I reminded them that we were active ECE and
made sure they were not around any other ferrets.
I always checked the waiting room before we
entered. If there were ferrets in there, we
entered through another door.

I used to have a friend here (you know who I'm
talking about, Mike) and we ferret babysat for
each other. Several years ago, her two came down
with ECE. We knew the more contact.
I contacted Dr. Kemmerer as I was wondering about
cross-species carriers. Even though we never had
direct contact with each others ferrets any more,
my friend would occasionally babysit baby
squirrels for me. I was concerned whether they
could then carry ECE into my house (the airborne
theory). Dr. Kemmerer said that wouldn't happen,
not to worry. She also recommended that if my
ferrets were all young and healthy, why not go
ahead and expose them to the ECE and get it over
with (kind of like chicken pox). At that time, my
Lily wasn't so healthy so that was out of the
question. And, sad to say, my friend now lives in
another state and I don't have a babysitter
anymore. We trusted each other totally with our
ferrets even to the point of making major medical