Message Number: YG5621 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Mike Janke
Date: 2001-07-18 18:32:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Isolating new ferrets

You're right, there is always a risk introducing a new ferret whose
medical history is unknown. ECE can be carried by a ferret who
appears perfectly healthy. There is no REASONABLE isolation period
that would protect your ferrets from ECE from a carrier ferret and
there is no test for ECE. The way I look at it, you have to be
willing to expose your ferrets to the possibility of ECE if you want
to bring in an unknown.

Then there's Aleutian Disease. At least the new ferret can be tested
for that one relatively easily and cheaply. You should also test
your current ferrets for this if you haven't already. You can go to for information on doing an ADV

Canine distemper has an incubation period of up to 10 days, so I
would say a two-week isolation would allow you determine if that's a
possibility. Of these three diseases, this is the only one that you
could probably say, "Yes, this ferret does not have this disease"
after a reasonable isolation period.

There are probably a handful of other things a newcomer could give to
the current ferrets, but I think these are the three I'd be most
concerned about. Distemper is probably the least likely, though
certainly possible. ECE would produce the most immediate and
noticeable response to an infection, but in most cases it's not a
fatal disease. ADV is sneaky and may be the least noticeable for
quite some time, but eventually could cause death.

Putting the cages side by side isn't much of an isolation at all.


--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "Suzi" <suzipsychrn@m...> wrote:
> Hello there,
> I was wondering how long a new ferret, (both kit and adult), should
> be kept separated from the rest of the ferret household? I worry
> about communicable diseases spreading to other ferrets. Is there a
> specific test for ECE or other viruses, diseases, ect? I would
> allow another ferret home without vaccines and a check up at the
> first. Also if cages were kept side by side, so they could start to
> get used to each other, would this be risky? I hope to some day add
> to my ferret family and I am going over some pontential issues in
> mind.
> Also, there is a ferret show coming up in my area soon, "
> Annual Greatest Ferret Show on Earth", and I am considering
> my ferrets.I have never been to any ferret shows before and I'm not
> sure what to expect. Has any one had any problems at a ferret show
> regarding the spreading of viruses, diseases, ect? Can a ferret
> ECE and not show any symptoms? I guess no matter how carefull you
> there are always risks. But I would like to be well informed and
> possibly minimize any risks though. Being fairly new to ferrets I
> have much to learn yet and would appreciate some feedback.
> thank you so much,
> Suzi and Cheech, Chong and Goose