Message Number: FHL5553 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Sukie Crandall"
Date: 2008-07-19 17:14:53 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Vaccines?

--- In, Ashley Schultz <momtofuzzies@...> wrote:
> This is true...but what would I do if I take my babies to get vaccinated and they die
from a reaction to the vaccination? That would be equally as painful to lose them for that
reason. Right now I am just trying to get enough information to make the best decision
for my ferrets.

Okay, the chances of a reaction are low and if a person waits at the
vet hospital for at least 45 minutes after a vaccine so that emergency
care can be given if needed the chances of there being problems are
extremely low. The number who react is very low, about 2 to 4 in
every 100 vaccines given, depending on the vaccine. Fervac-D used
to have a higher rate of reactions than options like Purevax for the
Canine Distemper. (Vaccines that were improperly stored by distributors
or others appear to possibly be more likely to cause problems.)

Reactions seem to be more common with canine distemper vaccines
than with the rabies vaccine but that low risk exists for both.

Just as with humans who react prompt treatment usually prevents death
for those few who do react but there can be exceptions.

Steve and i have had ferrets for about 27 years. We've had 4 or 5 who
reacted. Two could not have any vaccines due to past reactions.

Do not give the two vaccines at the same time. Even if it doesn't lessen
chances of reacting it does allow you to know what a ferret is allergic

Premedication is possible. Some use Benedryl, some use injected
steroids for that.

A reaction happens when the body thinks that a normal thing is an
invader. In an anaphylactic reaction the body responds especially
strongly. Typically the body has had a past exposure to the item
or to something very similar which is confuses with an invader then
the NEXT time it responds strongly and inappropriately. The blood
pressure drops, swelling occurs, and there is rapid fluid loss, so fast
sometimes that red blood cells are just carried along across the
membranes. You may have noticed that people with food allergies
most likely to become allergic to things they eat often (though a
few foods are more allergenic) and that is because of something that
is often forgotten but is an allergy basic: the more exposures the
individual has to something the greater the chances of reaction.

Make sure that your vet knows how to respond to an anaphylactic
reaction. Is there epinephrin? For that strong a reaction that med
is needed though it may not be for smaller ones. Are there steroids
like Pred or Dex which can be injected? (Med note: I have never
heard of it being done in ferrets but in humans with glaucoma who
have anaphylactic reactions extra Singlair has been used instead with
the steroids kept handy just in case.) Are their antihistamines? Can
the vet provide fluids to boost the blood pressure?

Lesser reactions don't need as hefty a response.

Do not confuse the normal tiredness and not feeling up to par which
goes with any vaccination with a reaction. That is just the immune
system learning the lessons you WANT it to learn.

If a ferret reacts we stop vaccinating that ferret with what has caused a
reaction in the past. If the ferret reacts to two types of vaccines we totally
stop vaccinating that ferret in case a common component is the allergen.

The hope is that the Canine Distemper titer studies will untimately lead
to being able to vaccinate less often and still have enough protection.

We typically do the rabies each year, but do the Purevax Canine Distemper
vaccine every one and a half to two years UNLESS it is a bad year for
Canine Distemper in our area and then we do it annually. We realize that
it is NOT firmly known that the spacing we usually use will definitely be
sufficient, but we have decided for ourselves to try this (and others will
differ so this isn't a recommendation to wait more than a year). Our hopes
are that the titer work will eventually permit more time between canine
distemper vaccinations without worry.

There are a number of good past posts with good data in them.

FHL Archives:
Titer study:


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