Message Number: SG7670 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2004-01-31 05:29:42 UTC
Subject: RE: FW: ece
Message-ID: <>

Author wrote:
> >My question is: If this is like a viral infection, or whatever, will it
> >run its course like a cold and then quit? Can some that look perfectly
> >healthy be carriers? Must they be seperated from other ferrets forever?
> >Will they always be carriers? Can I get new ferrets? What medication
> >works the best?

ECE is a viral disease and yes, it will run its course and the ferret(s) should eventually recover with good supportive care. The disease is hardest on the old or ferrets with other health issues. It's not usually fatal, but it can be in some instances and some ferrets may require aggressive treatment to help them over the initial, critical stage.

A perfectly healthy looking ferret can be a carrier. Many instances of infections are the result of a bouncing, healthy appearing, baby ferret brought home from the pet store. The baby ferret typically never presents with any symptoms. It's thought that a ferret will shed the virus for 6 months to a year. After that time, you should be able to add a new ferret without fear of it becoming infected.

> > His stool
> >showed no ece. Do you have to be looking for it to see it? Or would it
> >show up in a regular stool sample?
> >
> >HYow do I get rid of this nasty diarrhea?

There's no simple test for ECE. The virus is not detectable by your vet in a stool sample. Diagnosis is usually done by clinical signs and history of exposure. Being viral in nature, there is no medication that will treat it, though antibiotics are often prescribed initially to head off any possible secondary bacterial infections due to the weakened state of the ferret.

IF it is ECE, supportive care is the key and it will clear up. It may take a few weeks to a month or more, depending on a number of factors.