Message Number: YG10893 | New FHL Archives Search
From: kath0524
Date: 2002-02-09 08:18:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Confirmatory tests for Aleutian disease

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., daneedv@a... wrote:
> --- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "dr_bruce_williams"
So, once and for all - a positive serologic test means that the
animal is exposed, but it will take additional tests to show if
the animal truly has Aleutian Disease. Serologically positive
animals are certainly at high risk for development of the disease over
time,and for shedding the virus, but it does not equate with actually
having the disease itself.>

Then Danee wrote:
>> While I would agree with this statement in regard to the CEP test,
one of the selling points of the Avecon tests, according to Avecon, is
that they do not give false positives. According to the Avecon
website, and to the talk Dr. Stephon gave at the Pittsburgh ferret
show last June, the ELISA and POCT tests are testing for a protein
found in the antibodies only when the virus is replicating. According
to the literature, those tests will therefore only show a positive
result when the ferret actually has the virus, and not when there are
merely antibodies due to exposure only. >>

With all due respect to all of you experiencing the tragedy of ADV
positive ferrets, I think this is a perfect example of why so many
people aren't testing. Over the last few days, several professionals
and experienced ADV ferret owners have posted information on how/what
to test. Each time, another has come back to politely disagree on the
advice given. How is a layperson like myself supposed to know what to
do, what type of test to give, and how often, if the experienced folks
even disagree? On the surface, it all looks pretty hopeless in the
testing department. If they test negative, are they REALLY negative?
If they test positive, as Katie's baby did, are they REALLY positive?

I have tested all of mine with the home saliva test. They all tested
negative. However, from all of my recent reading, I have no
confidence at all. So, what do I do next? Do I test every few
months? How often? If mine are never around other ferrets, when is it
safe to quit testing? If I bring another ferret in, does the testing
of all of them begin again? For how long? Which test should I use
each time? Do I test everyone once a month for eternity???

I don't expect answers to these questions. I just want to point out
the frustration for those of us who want to do the right thing. But,
when even the experienced folks seems to disagree, how can we know
what is right? So, the next time you get frustrated about people not
testing, maybe you'll understand a little better. I have provided my
vet with lots of ADV information, some of it quite contradictory. I
also have extra "home" tests and test any new ferret who comes into my
home. I don't feel confident about it but it's all I know to do.

BTW, has anyone heard back from Katie about whether her baby tested
positive or negative on the second test? I don't recall her posting
about it recently.