Message Number: FHL11850 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Kevin Farlee"
Date: 2010-07-20 15:04:57 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re:Real Canadian ferret kits receiving mink distemper vaccine
To: <>

[This post carries information from a well
known ferret expert veterinarian who has
given us FHL moderators permission to
carry her information.

We typically work to get permission from
the author's themselves in case of any
miscommunications or other need such
as copyright ones when permission has
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-- Moderator]

>Real Canadian ferret kits receiving mink distemper vaccine

>Posted by: "Tressie" tressiedook

>Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:33 am (PDT)


>[The warning is that these ferrets might NOT have protection

>against Canine Distemper. -- Moderator]


>I was alerted by my veterinary clinic this morning that they have had
several Real Canadian (RC) ferrets brought into their clinic by owners who
>recently purchased these kits from pet stores in Atlantic Canada. This
breeder is also shipping to pet stores in the U.S.


>The troubling fact is that every single one of these ferret kits, from
different owners, has an RC certificate stating they have been vaccinated
with >DISTEM-R-TC by Schering-Plough. This is a mink distemper vaccine!

I relayed this post to my vet, also the vet for our shelter - Dr. Cathy
Johnson-Delaney. Below is her response

I have to say that I cannot count the number of ferrets that have come into
our shelter whose owners believed the pet store that told them "they had
their shots when they were spayed. They're all covered..."


Tell them: this one vaccination is given at 5-6 weeks of age, and does
likely protect for 2-3 weeks or so just like it does in mink, but the
vaccine also contains some antigens to diseases particular to mink that
ferrets don't need. Ferrets from any breeder who receive just one canine
distemper vaccine are not protected unless their vaccine for canine
distemper (in US only licensed product is Merial Purevax Distemper Ferret)
series is finished at 14-16 weeks of age. It should also be noted that
ferrets receiving their baby series do get checked for ear mites, coccidia,
and are hopefully being advised to receive a deslorelin 4.7 mg implant at
4-5 months of age as a likely preventive of adrenal disease......if your
ferret veterinarian is not familiar with this, please refer them to, Journal of Exotic Pet Med, and PubMed search on ferret
deslorelin Schoemaker

No ferret that receives just one vaccine at the time of spay/neuter or
shipping is protected. It is the same type of building immunity and covering
for the decreasing immunity passed to the kit from the jill - ideally
ferrets should receive vaccine at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks, 15-16 weeks to
complete their series, then annual at least for 2-3 years (and or until we
have a reliable test for protection using antibody levels). Also
revaccination of ferrets older than 3 years often depends on risk factors
(including things like raccoon outbreaks in your area; if ferret spent time
in pet store, boarding, or in an animal shelter that brings in stray

Unfortunately, pet stores tell purchasers "they've had their shots" when in
fact the health folder they give them (at least one chain) clearly shows
they need 3 more and at age intervals (but nobody, literally NOBODY opens
the folder and reads it).

Ferrets coming from a specific breeder in Canada have an additional health
problem which will be presented to the Association of Exotic Mammal
Veterinarians Scientific Session August 1, and additional veterinary
conferences and publications will follow. Until the paper is presented
August 1 I cannot divulge more details.

If any veterinarian is finding any respiratory disease, persistent
gastrointestinal problems, or any type of tumor in these ferrets who are
under 3-4 years of age, I would ask that veterinarian to contact me through or 888-821-6165. I would hope that any who
regularly see ferrets would be attending the conference as well as receiving
the proceedings/be a member of AEMV so that they could receive Journal of
Exotic Pet Medicine and keep up on these animals.

Comments submitted by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion
Mammal Practice; Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Outgoing President of the
Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians

hope that helps.....please post

Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, DABVP-Avian, DABVP-Exotic Companion Mammal

President, Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians :

[Addendum from Dr. Johnson-Delaney:

>Just want to be clear that so far the
>"novel respiratory disease" and associated
>problems are from one Canadian breeder
>(so far) that I know of. The problem may
>be more widespread, but we do not have
>samples/information on that yet. As this
>organism was only identified July 2009,
>we still have a lot of work to do.

-- Moderator]


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