Message Number: YG10921 | New FHL Archives Search
From: dr_bruce_williams
Date: 2002-02-09 22:16:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Confirmatory tests for Aleutian disease

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "kath0524" <katharine@n...> wrote:
when even the experienced folks seems to disagree, how can we know
what is right?

Dear Katharine:

I can certainly understand your frustrations - there is a lot of
detail here, but when you back off a bit, there are a few things that
we all agree on.

1) There is no currently avaialble test that will identify all cases
of Aleutian disease at all stages. This is why we use a combination
of tests to confirm positive cases, and test several times to confirm

2) Testing for all ferrets is very important. Whether you use the
saliva test, the ELISA blood test, or the CIEP test, you should
test. Not every case will be picked up, but the vast majority will,
and picking up even one positive in a multi-ferret facility or
household should set off a series of testing and repeat testing that
very well may disclose additional cases.

3) ADV is a silent disease with the potential, as we are now seeing,
for wide spread before the first case is diagnosed. There is not
treatment for this disease, and animals are apparently healthy for
the first 18 moths or more of infection, so early identification is

The best thing that we can do is test 100% of our ferrets with some
available test.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM