Message Number: YG5062 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-07-02 15:39:00 UTC
Subject: ADV in San Antonio

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., one FHL lister wrote:

>San Antonio got hit long
> before ADV became a regular topic on the ferret lists. It was just
> quiet.

I'll have to take a differing viewpoint on this particular
statement. While it is true that San Antonio was the first major
outbreak, SAFE never kept it quiet. There is a large difference
between covering an outbreak and yelling fire in a crowded theater.

Rick and Candy have been a tremendous resource to the ferret
community through this devastating outbreak, and to my knowledge,
have never hidden anything from anyone (as Rick's recent posts
demonstrate.) I was brought in early on this outbreak, as was Dr.
Gates and Dr. Bloom, and the material and information that they have
provided have been extremly beneficial date in my laboratory, and has
facilitated the development of immunohistochemical procedure to
detect the parvoviral antigen in formalin-fixed tissue. Our current
research is building on the development of this test, and hopefully
will yield additional information on the pathogenesis of ADV in the

Over the last three years, there has been at least four times that I
have called Rick and Candy on behalf of someone who was undergoing a
similar ADV outbreak to ask if they would talk to the person, and
each time they have responded with kindness and sage counsel. The
people who they have helped during an extremely difficult period in
their lives considered them a godsend, as I do.

To my knowledge, Rick and Candy have acted only in the most
professional and most charitable manner during the course of their
outbreak. They shut down immediately, they contacted traceable
adoptions, and they promised lifelong health care to 65 ferrets who
had received a death sentence. They followed up with providing
conintuing documentation and tissues on the largest ADV outbreak that
I am aware of - hopefully a one-of-a-kind opportunity to study this
disease as it passes through a large facility. There was never any
attempt to keep this outbreak quiet - anyone who knows Rick and Candy
know better. If anything was done quietly, it was the daily grind of
taking care of 65 animals who were (and are) dying well before their
time, and the heartbreak that goes along with it. An outbreak of ADV
in a rescue facility is far worse than one of ECE - everyone dies,
and I don't think that it is anything that any of us can really
fathom - except those who have been there.

While the Internet is famous for offhanded and unsubstantiated
remarks, this is one which I cannot in good conscience let pass.

Bruce Williams, DVM