Distemper in ferrets is caused by the Canine Distemper Virus, which is transmitted via aerosolized respiratory secretions of infected animals.1 In addition to dogs (and other canids) and ferrets, other mustelids can also become infected; as can raccoons and other procyonids.2 In ferrets, symptoms typically follow presentation of a rash on the chin;23 and can include anorexia, depression, pyrexia, photophobia, and abundant mucopurulent ocular and nasal discharge.2 The disease is nearly always fatal in ferrets, where there remains no specific treatment.23
Ferret distemper vaccines are administered according to the following schedule:
|Eight (8) Weeks||Initial Ferret Distemper Vaccination|
|12 Weeks||Second Ferret Distemper Vaccination|
|15 Weeks||Ferret Distemper Vaccine Booster|
|Every Year Thereafter||Ferret Distemper Vaccine Booster|
- Vandevelde M, Zurbriggen A. The neurobiology of canine distemper virus infection. Vet Microbiol. 1995; 44(2–4): 271–280.
- Rosenthal KL. Respiratory Diseases in Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2004: 72.
- Lewington JH. Ferret Husbandry, Medicine & Surgery. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2000: 107-108.