Message Number: FHL5598 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2008-07-22 00:29:43 UTC
Subject: Comments on whether to vaccinate Re: [ferrethealth] Digest Number 1218

In a message dated 07/19/08 5:04:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Is there any reason why they absolutely should be vaccinated? Has anyone else
decided not to vaccinate thier ferrets

**Yes, there is a reason why ferrets absolutely should be vaccinated against
canine distemper - it is an airborne illness, highly contagious to ferrets,
and invariably fatal. EVERY ferret kit should complete their distemper
vaccination series with the last vaccine in that series occurring between 15 and 16
weeks old. If vaccines have not been done prior to that, they need a course of
two shots, three weeks apart, to be fully protected. Now, after that, it is
possible that they will be protected long-term - that is NOT known for sure
yet, and the only current way to be certain that your ferret will not get
distemper and die from it is to vaccinate yearly. Titers, as we learn more, are
indicating that yearly is probably not necessary, but that is still untested data.

Having your ferret die of canine distemper - a completely preventable disease
- is a horrible thought. And that, by the way, is coming from someone who
has had one of my own personal ferrets die of a vaccine reaction. My kits are
all vaccinated. At a year old and annually after that, I run a titer, and
booster if I think the titer is too low. But kits need to be vaccinated.

Rabies is a completely different issue, but again, I think at the very least,
kits should be vaccinated, and then repeated depending on risk level for
possible legal exposure, not so much medical exposure. IMO, at any rate.

Dr. Ruth
Save lives - spay or neuter your pet.

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