Message Number: FHL2954 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2007-11-07 16:18:17 UTC
Subject: Reactions to distemper vaccine, titer study Re: [ferrethealth] Digest Number 958

In a message dated 11/07/07 5:36:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

anyone had this before? who doesn't vaccinate their ferrets for
distemper? what should I do to protect him from that disease now that
we can't vaccinate him in the future?

**First of all, I am glad that your ferret looks like he's improving.

Vaccine reactions are common in ferrets and most ferret vets do inform their
clients of this and advise them to wait in their office for a minimum of 30
minutes (some even longer) after the vaccine is given so that a reaction can be
treated immediately. Many pre-treat the ferrets with steroids or
antihistamines to help prevent a reaction. Even with doing that, vaccine reactions can be
fatal, as I know personally, having lost my own ferret Mongo to one.
Reactions are actually more likely to happen with each time a ferret is given another

One of the things that you can do is have a titer run on your ferrets yearly
(a blood test) to see if their level of antibody is high enough that they can
reasonably be expected to be protected. We don't know the exact level of
antibody that protects ferets, so we are comparing them to the other species that
have been tested (dogs and big cats) to see how they compare to the level
known to protect them. If your ferrets levels are high, they likely are protected
without further vaccination.

I am spearheading a study designed to gather more data about titer levels and
how long they stay above the (probably) protective level. Check the American
Ferret Association website (_www.ferret.org_ ( ) for
information on the study to print out and take to your vet. It's called the
Mongo Memorial Canine Distemper Titer Study.

There will be a write-up on it in the next issue of the AFA's newsletter, as

Dr. Ruth

Save lives - spay or neuter your pet.

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