Message Number: SG18185 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Linda Iroff
Date: 2006-08-27 13:00:43 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Distemper vaccine situation
To: Ferret Mailing List <>

I just sent the following to Dr. Jerry Depoyster of the USDA. I don't
know if there is anything they can do to help, but Dr. Depoyster has
been sympathetic to the ferret community over other issues.

Dr. Depoyster
I am writing you for advice on what the ferret community can do about
a situation that has arisen. You may be aware that earlier this year,
United Vaccines was sold, and production of Fervac, for a long time
the only USDA approved canine distemper vaccine for ferrets, was halted.

Fortunately, a few years ago a second vaccine was approved: Purevax
from Merial. Unfortunately, Merial only produces Purevax for part of
the year. They have currently shut down production for the year and
do not plan to resume until early next year.

Galaxy D from Schering Plough has long been used by many ferret
shelters and even some vets, but it was never testing for official
USDA approval.

This leaves the situation where there is NO USDA APPROVED VACCINE
available to vets, ferret owners and ferret shelter operators, a
potentially dangerous situation. Canine distemper is virtually 100%
fatal in ferrets, and can spread quickly through an unprotected

Can you give us any advice on how to deal with this situation? Is
there anything the USDA can do to require the vaccine manufacturers
to produce a steady supply of approved vaccine?

Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Linda Iroff
International Ferret Congress

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