From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2001-07-09 08:41:00 UTC
Subject: The non-profit health project that will help save ferrets
July 8, 2001
If you have a ferret in your family you have been helped by Dr. Bruce
Williams. The identification and description of diseases that affect only
domestic ferrets have been hallmarks of Dr. Williams' work over the last
ten years. Such diseases historically have garnered little corporate
funding because until recently the market for any derived products had
been small. As a result, the work done by such researchers has been a
mark of true and rare dedication. Few have actual expertise in ferret
medicine, and those who do are most easily identified by their past work,
which shows their practical knowledge, and - because their work has been
done without profit - their love of ferrets.
Since 1992, Dr. Bruce Williams, and the Dept. of Veterinary Pathology
at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology have been leaders in the
advancement of medical knowledge on ferret diseases, and have helped
educate veterinarians and ferret owners worldwide. A well-known author
of numerous book chapters and articles in the veterinary literature, Dr.
Williams has identified and published on a number of diseases which have
profound impact on ferrets today, including adrenal tumors, chordomas, and
the first published reports on prostatic disease in ferrets. Dr. Williams'
research into a novel diarrheal disease of the mid-1990's led to the
identification of ferret coronavirus, its spread, and treatment protocols
that have saved literally thousands of ferret lives.
Today, Dr. Williams continues his research on ferret diseases, without
the help of grant funds or commercial endowment. This year, he and
select colleagues will continue research on ECE and its connection with
inflammatory bowel disease in ferrets, as well as new projects on the
identification of Aleutian disease in the tissues of presymptomatic
ferrets, the first characterization of retinal atrophy in ferrets, and
studies on the prevalence of neoplasms of the liver, blood vessels, and
brain of the ferret.
Another project that Dr. Williams hopes launch is a tissue bank for
Aleutian disease and ECE cases, from which other investigators around the
country can obtain tissue and serum from infected ferrets to carry on
further research into these diseases. Dr. Williams understands that he
is not alone in trying to unravel the mysteries of ferret medicine.
Cooperation would assist practitioners in conducting clinical trials on
new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. Such a tissue bank would
provide an important step toward saving the lives of yet more ferrets.
Sadly, this project must wait for funding despite the great advances it
How can you help? Through a tax-deductible donation to the Registry of
Veterinary Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology you, too,
can help save ferrets. By simply writing "Ferret Research" on your check,
you can ensure that the money goes to further the programs and projects
mentioned above, as well as other valuable research programs which Dr.
Williams conducts each year.
This is your opportunity to join Dr. Williams in making ferret lives
longer and more enjoyable for them and us. The ferret you help save
may be your own. Please send in your contribution today to:
Research for Ferrets
Dept. of Telemedicine
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington DC 20306-6000
July 8, 2001