Message Number: YG5409 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Christopher
Date: 2001-07-12 08:54:00 UTC
Subject: Re: distemper vaccines

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., Joy Galey <sacred@w...> wrote:
> So my questions are how necessary is it? Whats the risk if they go
> out getting it? Whats the risk of a reaction if they do get it? Am I
> putting them in more harm not getting it? And if they do react to it
> what will they have to go through and what is done to keep them from
> reacting to it?
> Not sure what to do.
> Joy and the Fuzzies

The FDA tracks reactions
to the vaccines. Realize not all vets report all reactions but, the
figures suggest that only 2% of all immunizations react. Compare that
to 100% of the ferrets who get distemper will die and the odds are pretty
good. Of those two percent who do react, very very few actually die. If you have an indoor outdoor dog or children who might pet an adorable stray, you really don't have an option. Vaccinate.

There are things you can do to lessen the likelihood of a reaction,
even though the odds are already in your favor that you aren't in the

1) Never vaccinate a sick ferret.
2) Ask your vet about premedicating with inj. Benadryl and
3) Remain in the vets waiting room 45 minutes after the injection,
just take a book and chill out. There are delayed reactions but most
take place in the first hour after the injection. If there is full
blown anaphylaxis the time it takes to travel back to the vet could
cost you.
4) Take the day off from work and observe your ferret for the next 8
hours after the injection. Watch for breathing difficulty, redness to
the skin or ears, lethargy, clawing at the mouth, wheezing, bloody
5) have liquid benadryl on hand, ready to give 2mg per Kg of body
weight.. and the ferret carrier ready to go, at the first sign of
trouble give the benadryl, call the vet, transport.

A reaction is nothing to play with if it does happen, but being
prepared can make all the difference in the world. If you have multiple ferrets, vaccinate in pairs to lessen the possibility of having to deal with more than one reactive ferret at a time.

Hope this helped.