Message Number: FHL14567 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2012-01-19 00:50:18 UTC
Subject: Re: [ferrethealth] Very sick ferret - advice please
To: julie nicholls <>, fhl <>

Given that in your pers com there is mention of bloody urine now:

Shiga toxin producing E. coli is incredibly serious. It tends to originate in ungulate GI tracts, but then from waste water, or unclean preparation surfaces, etc. it can get onto vegetable matter or into other foods. Also, some pre-slaughter fatting food approaches expose other types of animals to it (just as some chickens have had prion disease from cattle in their crops even though they themselves don't get that form of prion disease due to pre-slaughter high-protein feeds). The most common way to get it in the U.S. is from ground beef (called mince in parts of the UK). E. coli does not survive well without oxygen exposure so other cuts like steaks are far safer.

With the search
coli ferret
at PubMed 34 results come up but not all are applicable.
Escherichia ferret
brings up 26, but again not all will be applicable

These may be among the ones that might prove useful:
> J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Dec;42(12):5904-8.
> Characterization of hemolytic Escherichia coli strains in ferrets: recognition of
> candidate virulence factor CNF1.
> Marini RP, Taylor NS, Liang AY, Knox KA, Peña JA, Schauer DB, Fox JG.
> Division of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
> Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
> Diseases associated with Escherichia coli infection are the subject of renewed
> interest due to emerging conditions such as hemolytic uremia syndrome. A
> collection of 15 strains of beta-hemolytic E. coli was isolated from diarrheic
> feces and diseased tissues of ferrets. All 15 strains were positive in specific
> PCR assays for the presence of hlyA, pap1, and cnf1. Seven of the cnf1-positive
> isolates were tested and shown to have a cytopathic effect on HeLa cell
> monolayers. The pathogenesis of these strains warrants future study.
> PMCID: PMC535218
> PMID: 15583337 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
full text can be found here:
and here:

> J Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 15;185(4):550-4. Epub 2002 Jan 22.
> Ferrets as a model system for renal disease secondary to intestinal infection
> with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.
> Woods JB, Schmitt CK, Darnell SC, Meysick KC, O'Brien AD.
> Department of Pediatrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences,
> Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA.
> Ferrets were evaluated as a possible small animal model for the development of
> colitis and/or signs of the hemolytic uremic syndrome after oral infection with
> Escherichia coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin--producing E. coli (STEC). Ferrets
> treated with streptomycin (Stm) had higher counts of E. coli O157:H7 strain 86-24
> Stm-resistant (Stm(r)) or O91:H21 strain B2F1 Stm(r) in their stools than
> non--Stm-treated animals. None of the animals displayed evidence of colitis, but
> Stm-treated animals fed strain 86-24 Stm(r) exhibited weight loss significantly
> greater than that exhibited by ferrets fed an isogenic mutant negative for the
> adhesin intimin. Moreover, 11 (23%) of the 47 Stm-treated ferrets inoculated with
> 86-24 Stm(r) or B2F1 Stm(r) developed hematuria and/or histological damage to
> glomeruli or thrombocytopenia, compared with 0 of 14 uninfected control animals
> receiving Stm in water. Thus, the ferret may serve as a model for renal disease
> secondary to intestinal infection with STEC.
> PMID: 11865409 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

free full text:
> J Wildl Dis. 2001 Jul;37(3):617-20.
> Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in captive black-footed ferrets.
> Bradley GA, Orr K, Reggiardo C, Glock RD.
> Source
> Abstract
> Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85705, USA.
> Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli with genes for heat stabile toxins Sta and STb was isolated from the gastrointestinal tract and multiple visceral organs of three adult and three juvenile black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) that died in a captive breeding colony between 24 May 1998 and 2 July 1998. Similar isolates were obtained from rectal swabs of one adult and one juvenile that were clinically ill. All were fed a diet composed of mink chow, raw rabbit meat, beef liver powder, blood meal and lard. Escherichia coli of the same toxin genotype was isolated from the mixed ration. Clinical signs included sudden death, dehydration, anorexia and diarrhea. Necropsy lesions included acute enteritis with large numbers of rod shaped bacteria microscopically visible on intestinal villi.
> PMID: 11504237 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text

free full text:

and this has no free link:

> J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1983 Dec 1;183(11):1179-81.
> Mastitis caused by hemolytic Escherichia coli in the ferret.
> Liberson AJ, Newcomer CE, Ackerman JI, Murphy JC, Fox JG.
> Abstract
> Hemolytic Escherichia coli was isolated from the mammary glands of 8 ferrets with gangrenous mastitis. Clinical signs included firm swelling of one or more mammary glands and discoloration of the overlying skin. Peracute disease and acute septicemia were observed, and in some cases the animals rapidly became moribund. Antibiotic therapy alone did not alter the course of the disease. Wide surgical resection of the involved glands in combination with systemic antibiotic therapy (ampicillin 10 mg/kg, BID, and gentamicin 5 mg/kg, SID) was the most successful treatment. Histopathologic changes included extensive edema, hemorrhage, and necrosis, with a mixed leukocytic infiltrate and large numbers of bacteria. The agent of this disease was isolated from rectal swab specimens from clinically normal ferrets as well as ferrets that had mastitis.
> PMID: 6358164 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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)

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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