Author Topic: 18/06/2012 CD outbreak at North East ferret rescue- NOW CONFIRMED  (Read 3872 times)

Offline lazy-ferret

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    • The Lazy Ferret
June 10th 2012
Copied from FB posted on the north east ferret rescue page by Gillian Betts who's owns the rescue.

I have been very quiet here recently, and I am now going to fill you all in on what's been happening. We have had a respiratory type infection which has affected one group of ferrets which I SUSPECT is canine distemper. I must emphasise that at this point in time it is UNCONFIRMED, but the symptoms of conjunctivitis, coughing or sneezing and a distinctive chin rash, which becomes crusted doesn't, as far as I am aware appear in any other disease. The only ferret in the group unaffected has been vaccinated a few weeks beforehand. The majority of the ferrets here are vaccinated and not showing any symptoms at the moment, although i do have a few oldies and poorlies who cannot be vaccinated. As it has been very quiet on the in/out front (even before the quarantine) we are hoping this can be contained.
We are not sure where it has come from, as we haven't had in a sick stray, or a ferret that became sick shortly after arriving so we are trying to piece together any information we have, although this can be transferred by clothing, walked in on shoes etc.
The reason I have posted this now is to give people the opportunity to get their ferrets vaccinated, if they are not already, and to restrict walking their ferrets outside in areas that may be frequented by dogs or wildlife which could be a potential risk.
Im hoping I am wrong with this, but I would rather be wrong and it be something else, than right and people have been putting their ferrets at risk whilst Ive been sitting quiet (if that makes sense)
The admins here are all aware of the situation, I am back to the vets tomorrow and will endeavour to keep you updated as I can, but bear with me as it is incredibly time consuming here, keeping strict infection control measures in place and nursing the poorlies.
The Ferret Education and Research Trust have a good leaflet about CD which can be downloaded from their webpage.

June 11th 2012
UPDATE BY Gillian Betts .

Update from the last 24 hours:-
Kenneth ferret lost his battle last night, he was an old boy and just quietly slipped away. He will/is having a post mortem.
We are now at day 20 with symptoms, still seems contained within the original group but the original ferret to show symptoms is showing more of a chin rash again today after it had seemed to be clearing. He does have a pin prick rash on his tummy, easier to see as he is a bino. Hopefully we will get some answers soon.
Thank you to everyone for your support, it means a lot. I still have a faint hope of being wrong, have to keep some element of optimism. Just keep safe and vigilant x

June 16th 2012
Update from Gillian, looks like she will have a definitive answer soon

Sorry for being incommunicado, will now give you all a full update.
Spoke to the National Ferret Welfare Society and had a long chat with them, which was incredibly useful. We have sent swabs from the first affected ferret, from eyes, throat and rectum (he didnt like that, poor love) so they will also give us more information. Still waiting for the original PM result from kenneth ferret, although we now have the proper Pm protocol from the NFWS. No further animals are showing symptoms although I am watching them like a hawk and probably imagining things! All have their own case notes to record anything, and the strictest infection control procedures are in place. I cannot thank the NFWS for their support enough, and to all those who have been through this before. I will try to upload some photos tomorrow to give people an idea of why Im concerned. I feel more positive today, the last couple of days have been pants, but thank you guys for sticking with us xx

June 18th 2012
Gillian Betts North East Ferret Rescue

This is a post I never wanted to make.
The post mortem results on Kenneth showed distemper infection. I am in close communication with the National Ferret Welfare Society for guidance, and continued thanks to them, Michelle Owen, Dinhara Walters and Jules Hall for their expertise.
I will have the email from the laboratory tomorrow, as at the moment it is only in fax format. I am absolutely gutted, although I suspected this would be the case. Please keep your ferrets safe, keep vigilant. Cant write any more at the moment.

The Members of the Fluffy Ferret Forum send their thoughts and best wishes to Gillian and the rest of her ferrets, and hope that the remainder that have been immunised stay in the clear
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