Message Number: FHL11808 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "sukiedaviscrandall"
Date: 2010-07-10 18:46:11 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] mycobacteria (one is TB)

I had to look up mycobacteria resources for someone
on a different list and figured I'd share this bit of a

Should others have updates on how this is tested
and various treatment options they would be

Here's what I sent her:

It pays to have a lab which can tell the types of Mycobacteria apart from each other work on this AND to have cultures taken for antibiotic challenges to find out which are effective for this one (because some Mycobacteria have developed antibiotic resistance) and then the antibiotic schedule has to be TIGHTLY ADHERED to prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Avian Mycobacteria, which is primarily an INTESTINAL disease, is ever-present in the environment since many birds carry it. It is not terribly unusual in very compromised ferrets who have unfortunately had the avian exposure (usually from bird feces or from eating infected raw poultry) and has shown up in dogs from raw poultry at times, usually in immunosuppressed dogs but not always. I do not know if cats can get it. We are all around it very often without even knowing it.

Some states in the U.S. list avian mycobacterium as an emergent veterinary health disease during the last decade and you can find state sites on that by searching. Those sites usually say that the increase is from increased raw poultry feeding among pets, but both that practice and the disease seem to have stalled in many areas perhaps because they have reached their maximum percentage of interested people, plus most pets who do get it already have compromised health.

Again: avian mycobacterium is mostly an intestinal disease.

Bovine "TB"/ Bovine Mycobacteria is a Reportable Disease and so is human TB (actual TB), of course.

When Bovine TB gets into a herd the herd is typically sacrificed and can not be used for food.

With human TB the largest problems are that not all people take their meds the way that they should, and that there are some new, medication resistant forms. For the resistant form there is still one national, tax supported, TB sanitarium so that the general population is kept safe, and if memory serves it is in Florida someplace but it's been maybe a year since I read about those types of cases, so I am not sure.

There are a number of mycobacterial diseases, even ones of the skin, and ferrets can get a range of mycobacterial diseases (including a mycobacterium that fish get), but are more likely to get this bacterial genus if seriously compromised. Often it takes a very advanced pathology lab to tell which type of mycobacterium is present. I'd see if the Ferret Health Group at Michigan State can do that for you:

Going to
and (leaving the other two boxes empty) searching the message body box for
mycobacteria or mycobacterium or mycobacterial or "TB"
brings up 95 hits but most of those will be confused by the "TB" since it is also present in things like "TBS/TBSP", so leaving out the ;or "TB" ' gets it down to 63 results.

Possibly useful resources BUT THERE ARE MANY MORE:

If you go to PubMed
and use the search terms
ferret mycobacterium
you will find 44 hits such as

If you search more widely you will find things like:

related on telling the mycobacteria apart from each other:


Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: