Date: 2004-04-20 18:40:52 UTC
Subject: RE: How Contageous?
If you look at past posts of Dr. Bruce Williams, who is a ferret-expert veterinary pathologist and if you look in the most extensive vets texts which go into lab uses of ferrets (as James Fox's does) you see that ferrets don't get true colds which are rhinovirus-caused.
They DO get Influenza A and they DO get sinus infections, and sometimes a light case of flu get confused with a cold in humans, and often people think that a sinus infection (bacterial) is a bad cold. In the case of the latter they can trade it back it back and forth multiple times. Unlike colds which don't respond to antibiotics (being viral) sinus infections can be treated with antibiotics. DO treat a sinus infection; there is always the chance of it gettting worse or moving down the respiratory tract to become a worse illness if you don't.
So, if you are sure it is true cold they will be fine, but keep being careful, especially with loads of hand washing just in case it is one of the others.
BTW, they also get allergic rhinitis and if you happen to be allergic to theing which are out at the same time you can wind up stuffed up and having trouble breathing at the same time.