Message Number: YG6584 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Caitlyn M. Martin
Date: 2001-08-23 14:53:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Lost Lexie after imrab vac

On Mon, 20 Aug 2001 15:52:54 -0000
wwhooligan@n... wrote:

> I looked though old messages looking for information on Imrab
> pretreatment, but couldn't find any. What is the pretreatment &
> why? I was getting ready to give routine Imrab vacinations to my
> hooligans.

Five of our ferrets (Adric, Kerr Avon, Nyssa, Lady Ayeka, and Romana) have had
adverse reactions to rabies (Imrab) shots. We had no reactions until they were
two or three years old (third or fourth shot). Four of the reactions were
relatively minor: vomiting and diarrhea. Adric was given benadryl as a
pretreatment the following year, and there was no adverse reaction at all. The
same will be done for Kerr Avon, Lady Ayeka and Romana prior to their next
shots. Our vet does *not* pretreat ferrets with no history of reactions.

Last year Nyssa had the only severe reaction. She actually went into shock and
could have died. I know she was treated with benadryl, dexamethasone, and
sub-q fluids. I'm not sure if anything else was done. I do know that she had
her shot around 5 PM, and I got her back around 11, exhausted but otherwise out
of danger.

Of course, when it came time for Nyssa's shot this year, I questioned the
wisdom of vaccinating her with my vet. I had resigned myself to her staying at
home for the rest of her life. Our vet had other ideas: for three days prior
to the vaccination he gave her a shot of dexamethasone (sorry, I don't know the
quantity), and pretreated her on the day of the shot with both benadryl and
dexamethasone. The result: she was sleepy, but otherwise had no adverse
reaction this year. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Obviously this is anecdotal evidence, and I am not a vet. If you have
concerns, or if your ferts have had reactions to the rabies vaccine in the
past, I would certainly discuss pretreatment with an experienced, ferret
knowledgeable vet.

All the best,
Caity and the exuberant eight