Vaccination Against Canine Distemper
Ferrets are susceptible to canine distemper. It is a virus which can be contracted by contact with dogs, foxes and wild mustelidae (eg.polecats), and also via vegetation such as grass and weeds. It is found in discharge from eyes, nose and mouth and in the faeces and urine of an infected animal.
The symptoms are severe and include anorexia, fever, brown nasal discharge, a rash, diarrhoea and thickened, hardened footpads.
Secondary infections include pneumonia, convulsions and coma. There is no cure and the disease is almost always fatal in ferrets.
Vaccination against the disease is available from a veterinary surgeon. The most common concern is anaphylactic shock which has been reported in a few cases, making ferret owners wary of vaccinating their animals. If you are considering vaccinating your ferret contact your veterinary surgeon who will be able to provide advice and information.