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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Can Ferrets get sick from humans?

I would have said no they can't but I just came across this article:
http://wcvb-tvpet.ip2m.com/index.cfm...site_cat_id=10



Can the human flu kill ferrets?



January 7, 2004 3:32 PM
By Steve Dale
Tribune Media Services


I had the flu last month, and as I was beginning to feel better, Weasie, my 3½-year-old ferret, got sick. She coughed some and threw up a couple of times. Two days later, as I was about to leave for the vet's office, she died. I was told I might have given her the flu. Is that possible? Can the human flu kill ferrets? From S.C., in Chicago

The common influenza virus can indeed go back and forth between people and their pet ferrets. Dr. J.B. Bruederle, former president of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and a vet with a special interest in ferrets, said it's relatively common for owners to transmit the flu to their ferrets. However, it's more unusual for people to catch the flu from ferrets.

Symptoms of flu aren't too different in ferrets than they are in people: lethargy, sneezing, sensitivity to light, loss of appetite and inflammation around the eyes.

Usually after a few days to a week, symptoms disappear and ferrets recover fully. In rare cases, the flu can cause an upper respiratory infection and even an airway obstruction, causing sudden death. While this might be what happened to your ferret, it seldom occurs except in very old, very young or otherwise sick ferrets. Under normal circumstances, the flu is not a serious health risk for adult ferrets.

It's only conjecture, but Bruederle guessed there was an additional underlying illness in your ferret which was activated when the flu stressed the pet's system. And there's no way to determine with certainty from your letter if your ferret had the flu in the first place.

© Tribune Media Services WebPoint®




This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

"There are no such thing as coincidences. Everything happens for a reason."
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 01:15 PM
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Yes, the flu sure can kill ferrets. You should be very careful when handling ferrets when you are sick..their poor little systems can't handle much sickness.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 01:35 PM
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Thanks for posting that! you are absolutely right (as is tutebugs) Ferrets (as well as other small animals) can get sick from humans. If you have a common cold or the flu try to avoid handing them as much as possible till you are completely over it.
If handling is neccessary do so on a limited basis...

What may seem like a common "no big deal" cold to us can be life thretening to a ferret

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Even a little cold?! No kidding! Living up here in New England I'm going to have to look out for that.

Now, I know ferrets need to be warm, are they as highly suseptable (sp?) to catching colds if they are by drafts? I would imagine so..

Melissa

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 12:37 PM
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Actually..well as far as I know..ferrets can handle a cold temperature. Not a freezing temp, but cold. They have very thick skin and their coats are very thick also. Fstybrat would probably know more on this though.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 01:11 PM
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you are right tutebugs... generally I wouldn't allow them to be colder than 60 degrees but that is just me... heat is more of a danger to them than cold it... any temp above 85 & they can die of heat stroke in 10 minutes

I think the biggest risk you have in regards to drafts is them catching a cold as you or I would with constant drafts. I would try to keep their cage away from a window in the winter if you suspect it being a problem.

(thanks for the confidence tutebugs!)

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 04:35 PM
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If the cage has to be near a window I would suggest making sure the ferrets have a sleeping bag type deal..or a hanging cube or somethine enclosed. Our cage has to be near a window so our ferrets have a little sack and a cube so they can chose to be in something or on top of the cube like a hammock.
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