Message Number: FHL5424 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2008-07-07 15:59:29 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Salmonella

--- In, "maevemoped" <angela@...> wrote:
> I have a ferret who has symptomatically been diagnosed by a vet with
> Salmonella. He has been quaranteened and is improving. However, I read
> that he is now a carrier for the bacteria. How long after he seems well
> should he be quaranteened for?

Sorry you have run into that. From what I have read it is usually fought
off, but when it isn't then it can be very hard to treat. It sounds like you
have been listening to your vet, and looking in resources. I strongly
respect that approach.

So far, in the vet texts I have I have not seen a time frame for you. One
emphasized trying to grow a culture and do antibiotic challenges, though,
because some strains are resistant to certain antibiotics. Maybe the results
of such a challenge might help. Okay, it could because _Biology and Diseases
of the Ferret, 2nd ed_ after emphasizing the importance of trying to figure
out which serotype the Salmonella strain is and which antibiotics work
best on it says on page 342:
"The improper selection and use of an antibiotic will limit the success of
clinical treatment and may also increase the amount, duration, and
antibiotic resistance pattern of shedding Salmonella organisms"

I don't know if this will help or if more have been added to the list since but
_Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents, Clinical Medicine and Surgery, 2nd ed_
says that these serotypes of Salmonella have been found in ferrets:
S. typhimurium, S. hadar, S. kentucky, and S. enteritidis. _Ferret Husbandry,
Medicine and Surgery, 2nd ed_ also lists these strains among ferrets:
S. newport and S. choleraesuis. The first text in this paragraph
also says that most rodents and ferrets can be asymptomatic reservoirs
for salmonella, transmitted by fecal-oral route, fomites, and aerosol
through conjunctiva in some species. They advice the same things that
are advised for having reptiles such as loads of hand washing. Ah, later in
the second text in this paragraph the author (an FHL member vet) also
mentions encountering S. lavana and S. muenchen, which also says "
Treatment: Must be by the precise use of the specified antibiotic so that
the carrier states can be eliminated plus the attention to the replacement
of i.v. catheters or s.c injections."

In looking for you I noticed that the symptoms can look like a combo of
insulinoma and ulcers (page 341 of _Biology and Diseases of the Ferret_.
I'd forgotten that and keeping it in mind might help some others at some
point when they encounter tarry feces and low blood glucose if the first
possibilities (more likely) don't pan out. That text also says to provide
electrolytes, so you may want to get something like Kyolyte powder or the
other options till the ferret is well. Remember that a bottle of the liquid
needs to be used within two days according to past posters or the
electrolytes combine and won't help. Freezing cubes of it has been
suggested, but I don't know if or how well that works, though it might.

Salmonella is killed by cooking, but that's kind of out for feces. ;-)

They are gram negative rod bacteria in the family, Enterobacteriaceae.
So, if a ferret has an infection with a rod bacterium then salmonella is
AMONG the types of infections to consider.

So, my IMPRESSION is that the possible length of time the bacteria may
be present in the ferret(s) will depend on the strain and how well the
antibiotics used treat that strain, but I could be wrong.

Sorry about not being able to provide more help for you.


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