return to previous pageAFA [modified] VACCINATION SCHEDULE
(2006 detailed manufacturer info, comments and old studies removed )
 

CANINE DISTEMPER
Ferrets are highly susceptible to CDV. The disease is virtually 100% fatal in ferrets that contract the disease. Proper vaccination provides protection from infection.

VACCINE:  NOBIVAC PUPPY DPv
(Purevax is currently unavailable)
NOBIVAC Puppy DPv is the off label alternative vaccine to replace PUREVAX by Merial at the present time.

RECOMMENDED SCHEDULE FOR HEALTHY FERRETS

KITS:  8, 11, and 14 weeks of age, and annually thereafter. ADULT FERRETS:   Annually

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES SCHEDULE

For healthy kits less than or equal to 14 weeks of age from mothers whose vaccination history is unknown, incomplete, or outdated; OR for kits that have unknown, incomplete, or no vaccination history: Give a series of three vaccines at three-week intervals, then vaccinate annually on the anniversary of the last booster.
If exposure to CDV is suspected, kits as young as 6 weeks of age may be vaccinated. In this situation, the second vaccine should be given at 10 weeks of age, followed by the final booster at 14 weeks of age In a 1992 CDV outbreak, some ferrets that had received only two CDV vaccines, the last at less than 14 weeks of age, succumbed to CDV.
For healthy ferrets over 14 weeks of age that have unknown, incomplete, outdated, or no vaccination history: Give a series of two vaccines three weeks apart, then vaccinate annually on the anniversary of the last booster.
RABIES Vaccine:
 
 IMRAB3 given at 12 weeks and annually thereafter
 
Although it is unlikely that an indoor ferret would contract the Rabies Virus, immunization is required for all ferrets. The Rabies Virus vaccine will protect an immunized ferret in case of exposure and the ferret's current vaccine status will support quarantine in the event that it bites a person.

 

MAXIMIZING SAFETY WHEN VACCINATING YOUR FERRET
BEFORE YOU ADMINISTER ANY MEDICATION TO YOUR FERRET,
BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR VET FIRST

Before the vaccination: I administer 1(one) cc(ml) of Childrens Benadryl orally to the ferret about Ĺ hour before the appointment. This reduces the chance of a reaction as well as the severity if a reaction does occur. I then wait another Ĺ in the waiting room to be sure the critical period has passed. The vet has everything they need to treat a ferret that has gone into shock. Usually, the longer it takes to develop an allergic reaction, the less severe and life threatening it is.

Generally, once or if your ferret has had an allergic reaction, he should never be vaccinated again during his lifetime. Over vaccinating has always been controversial and there have been ongoing discussions about the frequency of certain vaccines. Some studies show that animals build up immunity over the years and annual vaccines may be required every 3 years instead. Hopefully weíll see these new requirements formally introduced which should reduce the number of vaccine reactions.

I wait 2 weeks between distemper and rabies to reduce the chance of reactions to loading the body with too much vaccine and so that I will know which one would have caused the reaction. Some vets donít think itís necessary and I recognize that itís an inconvenience especially if you have to travel a great distance. Any concerns should again, be discussed with your vet.

For the record, certain combination vaccines (among others) should never be used: DHLPP which contains multiple dog vaccines, the killed Canine Distemper vaccine, feline distemper vaccine (Panleukopenia) for cats, or any Canine Distemper vaccine cultivated from ferret tissue.

I am often asked if I administer vaccinations. Though I am quite capable and proficient at giving injections, I wonít vaccinate a ferret because I would be unable to medically intervene and save his life if he were to have a life threatening reaction. I even take my own ferrets to my trusted vet and follow the same advice I give everyone else.
 

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