Message Number: YG4440 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Mike Janke
Date: 2001-06-09 08:40:00 UTC
Subject: Re: ECE

I would say that if a ferret had ECE, he would be an active carrier
for at least six-months, and possibly as long as a year, since the
initial date of infection. Usually, long before the six-month mark,
he would no longer have noticeable symptoms.

Pet store baby ferrets are notorious in this regard. I've never
heard of one that had recognizable symptoms of ECE, yet I can't count
the number of times I've heard from someone that brought home a pet
store baby, only to have their current crew come down with ECE 48
hours later.

Yes, I remember when Shanna's ferrets came down with ECE and the
concern you both had about passing it between households. I wonder
how Shanna and her ferrets are doing these days. Haven't heard from
her in quite some time.

I know there are some that promote the exposing of young, healthy
ferrets to ECE to get 'em over it while they're young and better
equipped to handle it. I don't know if I could bring myself to do
that. And I'm sure there are plenty of vets that would never condone
intentionally exposing any animal to any disease for any reason.

You're right, there's probably no way to be absolutely sure ECE isn't
brought into your home except by 100% avoidance of all other ferrets.


--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., katharine <shurcool@i...> wrote:
> 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.<
> Mike,
> 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
> decisions.
> Katharine