LITTLE DUDES FERRET CAMP VACCINATION POLICY UPDATE

 

RABIES VIRUS/VACCINE: The Rabies vaccine requirement has not changed. IMRAB3 was and still is today, the only rabies vaccine tested safe and effective for ferrets and is required by law. All ferrets must be current within one year prior to arriving at Ferret Camp unless there is a vet documented history of reactions to the vaccine. Proof is required along with a signed waiver.

Aside from being legally required, (though the chance of contracting rabies at Ferret Camp is about zero) I am more concerned about protecting you from having your ferret confiscated and held in quarantine by the authorities or possibly destroyed if symptomatic. Itís not worth the risk.


CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS/VACCINE: Before I address the new changes, I want to stress that the CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AND 100% FATAL IN FERRETS WHO HAVE CONTRACTED THE VIRUS AND WERE NOT PROPERLY IMMUNIZED.

That said, I have temporarily relaxed the canine distemper vaccination requirement under the following circumstances (though still highly recommended):
1. There is no current CDV USDA approved vaccine available for ferrets.
2. The accepted Nobivac Puppy DPv alternative is used off label in ferrets so I canít reasonably make it a Ferret Camp requirement if it hasnít been formally approved for ferrets.
3. Nobivac hasnít yet circulated around to all the Puget Sound area vets as the new alternative to Purevax which is making it difficult to obtain.
4. Nobivac comes in a 25 dose pack making it costly for the average vet who doesnít see enough ferrets to use up the vaccine before it expires.
5. The one or two vets (that Iím aware of) who DO carry Nobivac are located far north of Seattle with limited office hours making it difficult for many ferret owners to get there.
6. Nobivac is being recommended by some highly respected ferret vets for mostly high risk ferrets such as those in shelters or in regular contact with dogs or outdoors in parks.

  The risk to CDV has not changed over the years, just the vaccines. For those who either respect my opinion or are just curious about it, the chances of contracting CDV while low, is still greater than rabies and ferrets should be protected against the virus. Below is just the basic vaccinations schedule for healthy ferrets.

AMERICAN FERRET ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDED VACCINE SCHEDULE

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)

Vaccine: NOBIVAC PUPPY DPv

8, 11, 14 weeks, annually thereafter

Rabies

Vaccine: IMRAB3

12 weeks and annually thereafter

Here is a longer version of the AFA vaccine schedule which includes ferrets with special circumstances and my own suggestion for maximizing your ferretís safety when being vaccinated.

You can also refer to the latest AFA statement regarding their position on the canine distemper vaccine.

******* IF YOUR VET IS NOT AN ACTUAL EXOTIC (FERRET) EXPERIENCED VET, HE/SHE MAY NOT KNOW THE CORRECT VACCINE TO USE. DO NOT ALLOW HIM/HER TO INJECT YOUR FERRET WITH ANY OTHER VACCINE OTHER THAN WHAT HAS BEEN RECOMMENDED HERE *******

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