Message Number: FHL14195 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2011-10-21 17:56:34 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Getting Canine Distemper titers done: info for vets to have on file

Now that the Mongo Canine Distemper Titer Study is not doing samples any longer I have found out how people's vets can have the titers run:

Specific info locations:

For your vets' contact files should they need more info: (email)
Phone: AHDC switchboard (607) 253-3900
Fax: Customer Services (607) 253-3943


will give you the range of canine distemper tests, and the one for ferrets is done as the same fee for dogs:

> Test Name Lab Section Fee
> Canine Distemper (CDV) Virus FA Virology 16.50/animal
> Canine Distemper (CDV) Virus SN Virology 16.50/sample
> Canine Vaccine Panel 1 Virology 33.00/sample
> Canine Vaccine Panel 2 Virology 49.50/sample
> Canine Vaccine Panel 3 Virology 49.50/sample
> Ref: Canine Distemper PCR Referral 44.50 (+ referral fee; see comment)

Reasons for doing titers:

1. Individual ferrets differ. After the original timed kit SERIES of canine distemper vaccines (not just the first one that the farms do which is not sufficient) AND after the first annual some ferrets will need the vaccines only every few years but:
A. Some of the ferrets simply may run low titers and absolutely need annual vaccines (Our Hubble was an example of that sort of individual.)
B. Some other ferrets will have extremely high titer numbers and that might
predispose them to allergic reactions to the vaccine if they get the
vaccine while the numbers are still high. (Our Mornie was an example.)

2. Not all ferrets have had the full kit series of canine distemper vaccines. That lack appears to be the predominant reason why certain shelter ferrets were especially vulnerable this year once they were exposed. Those ferrets need TWO canine distemper vaccines in series over a few weeks to be sure of coverage OR need to have titers run, so it just makes sense when adopting from most shelters to run titers on the adopted ferrets since they may be especially vulnerable.

3. Some ferrets can not be vaccinated due to illness or due to extreme reactions in the past (not just feeling "off" for a day or having a bit of irritation at the injection site because those are normal and healthy immune responses to vaccines). For those ferrets precautions like leaving shoes outside, not letting those ferrets explore in the outdoors, etc. can be used, but titers might warn you when the precautions are especially important for those individuals.

4. Canine Distemper IS around. Just look at in the archives of the FHL and FML about the shelters this year who had to go to the Vitamin A and antiviral drugs to save more of the shelter ferrets than normally would have died. The FML Archives URL is in the header of each day's FML and also in my sig lines, while the FHL Archives URL is on the homepage of the FHL in multiple places and also in my sig lines. For the FHL Archives just put
in the
search message body for
box and leave the other boxes empty to start.
click the search button
Then click open messages that you select to read.

Canine distemper virus has a fatty envelope and it dies when that envelope dries out which is why is can't be caught blowin' in the wind, but it CAN be caught from types of clothing, especially shoes. In a location which is hot an dry it will die is as fast a half hour after it dried out (so if you step in infected poop that poop has to be dried solid for at least a half hour where it is hot and dry) BUT it lasts longer where it is moist or cooler or both. In fact, if frozen it can remain viable for years.

Here are a few useful resources and past posts on Canine Distemper:

(Click open the pdf selection if it takes you to the main page instead.)

In the following message Dr. Murray is answering about SILENT carriers so notice that he points out that ferrets do get and transmit canine distemper but silent carriers have not been encountered:

The infected ferrets did not have the TWO vaccines done in series over a few weeks needed if ferrets have not had the full kit series of vaccines:

This post was sent to both the FML and FHL.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:

"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)


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