Message Number: SG7629 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sue Liszewski"
Date: 2004-01-29 23:45:51 UTC
Subject: RE: [ferrethealth] Mystery Virus
Message-ID: <>

I had wondered the same thing, especially since Chloramphenicol is one of
the few antibiotics that actually crosses the blood brain barrier, and this
what he seemingly responded too. Hopefully soon more answers will be found.
I have not has ferrets in my area yet present with any of the signs
discussed (and honestly I hope I won't have to). Thanks for your post.

Dr. Sue

>To: Ferret-list@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
>Subject: [ferrethealth] Mystery Virus
>Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 17:48:59 EST
>As some of you know, we took in an 8 week old kit back in the first part of
>January - exhibiting many of the symptoms described as being that of the
>mystery virus-seizures/neurological signs, unstable temperature, lethargy,
>low RC/PCV, high WC. My vet in fact at the time of his release (his owners
>couldn't pay for veterinary care) gave him less than 10% of survival...we
>him on aggressive supportive care (IV fluids and antibiotics) and while he
>wasn't getting any worse, he wasn't getting any better. Based on some
>from both my vet and suggestions from Dr. Williams, Rocky was placed on
>chloramphenical on top of his other medications..and within a day we saw
>From a WC high of 29,000 in two days it dropped to 10,000. His temperature
>stabilized and we began to see signs of strength and improvement. The worst
>his neurological signs have dissipated and today Rocky Bobble is doing
>great -
>he is able to walk on his own and only has the head tilt/sway/bobbing with
>some balance difficulty to indicate he is anything other than a healthy
>kit. He
>is a fairly normal size and weight now for an 11 week old ferret (740g
>Now comes the interesting part. Yesterday while taking Rocky in for another
>CBC/chemistry, the vet told me that the pet store that sold Rocky called
>him. I
>had reported the possible meningitis case to them when we believed that is
>what he had and also told them the vet who was treating him. It turns out
>that a
>day or two prior to Rocky's sale, an employee at the store was diagnosed
>meningitis and the pet store was checking to see if anyone at the vet
>had come down with it!
>While handling Rocky at the vet clinic, I took strict precautions to
>disinfect myself and keep the ferrets in my house safe. I have had no other
>come down with any symptoms similar to this.
>So I wonder - is what we are seeing in these very young kits in fact a form
>of meningitis? It does make sense as the immune system in a ferret this
>is still immature and more susceptible to disease. I also understand that
>meningitis can be spread from people to pets and vice versa.
>I wish in Rocky's case we were able to make a definitive diagnosis based on
>samples collected, but we were unable to locate anyone who was willing to
>do a
>spinal tap on such a small young ferret.
>Just something that I felt I should pass on. Rocky's lab results and all of
>his information/medical charts are open for any vets who are interested and
>feel that they may help another ferret.
>Lisa Leidig, Head Ferret
>Shelter Wench in good standing
>The Ferret Haven "By-the-Sea"
>If you want to share pictures, use the calendar, or start a vote
>To leave the group, email:

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