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 Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE
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cuddleAferret

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Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Sunday, May 07, 2017 1:30 PM
Two years ago my ferret, Max, became really sick with ECE (Epizootic catarrhal enteritis) after we got a baby ferret, who showed no signs of illness other than stool smelled a bit odd. I nursed Max back to health and he's been fine ever since with totally normal stools that smell normal. Sadly, my other ferret passed away awhile ago. I've been thinking of getting another ferret, but I'm too afraid. I'm worried either he could catch the virus again or give it to the new ferret. I've tried to research it but unclear if the ferret becomes a carrier after having it or is immune after catching it once. Has anyone ever had any experience like this? Or know if it would be safe to get another ferret?
unclejoe

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Sunday, May 07, 2017 4:38 PM
Hi and welcome.  
This is why a lot of people recommend a 2 week quarantine or new ferrets.  If you find a ferret at a rescue, or even one that has been at a pet store foe a few weeks with no new arrivals you should be ok.
This is from the Merck vet manual
The ferret enteric coronavirus causes epizootic catarrhal enteritis. This disease is highly transmissible and is often brought into a group of ferrets by an asymptomatic juvenile animal. Clinical signs begin 2–14 days after introduction of the new ferret or exposure through fomites and include anorexia, vomiting, green or mucoid diarrhea, melena, dehydration, lethargy, and weight loss. The disease is most severe in older ferrets, which may take months to fully recover. The virus causes blunting of the intestinal villi and consequent maldigestion and malabsorption. Definitive diagnosis is difficult, although scanning electron microscopy of the feces may identify coronavirus. Increased ALT and alkaline phosphatase may occur secondary to hepatic lipidosis. Treatment is supportive and includes fluids, nutritional support, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and GI protectants. Prevention is by quarantine of new ferrets, thorough cleaning of new bedding and toys, and washing hands and changing clothes after handling other ferrets.


ece can be nasty, but from what I've read, most ferrets are carriers and it can pop up anytime.  I wouldn't let fear of ECE stop me from adopting.  Good luck.

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wenmister

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Tuesday, May 09, 2017 11:08 AM
ECE virus seem to be harder on the older ferrets.  One of reason, I don't bring in pet store ferret under one year old.  As I have older ferrets in my home.  I just don't want to risk my older ferrets, getting sick or passing from this virus.

that is just me...


remember you can carry the virus on you....if you pickup a kit at the pet store.  Make sure you change your clothes and wash up before you handled your ferret.
<message edited by wenmister on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 11:10 AM>
cuddleAferret

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:52 AM
Thanks for the replies. I actually did just get a 10wk old ferret yesterday. He's in a separate cage and is allowed to play in a separate area of the house. The cages are within viewing distance of each other. I'm also using separate toys and we all wash our hands after touching him or his toys, even for a second. My other ferret that gave my older ferret ece years ago had odd smelling stool, but that was all. I'm going to keep this little guy quarantined for a little while.
unclejoe

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:30 PM
Congrats on the new addition.  It's never wrong to quarantine for a couple weeks, but as I said, a couple weeks isn't enough for ECE.  It can stay dormant for some time, and can be passed up to 6 months with no signs in the host ferret.  We had one case of the green slimes, and had 5 ferrets at the time.  No one else got the slimes before they passed at varios ages and times.
Enjoy your new fuzzy!

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cuddleAferret

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Sunday, May 14, 2017 6:37 PM
Are they immune to ECE if they've already had it though? Or is it something they can catch over and over? Maybe some probiotics would be a good idea just in case.
unclejoe

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Monday, May 15, 2017 5:24 PM
I've never heard of a ferret getting symptomatic more than once.  It's a virus, and once it' been fought off the fert should be protected by antibodies.  There are a lot of articles on ECE out there, but here is a link to infectious diseases in the Merck Vet Manual
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/exotic-and-laboratory-animals/ferrets/infectious-diseases-of-ferrets
<message edited by unclejoe on Monday, May 15, 2017 5:29 PM>

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bandit99

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Re:Ferret needs friend, but worried about ECE - Monday, May 22, 2017 6:56 AM
Congratulations on your new baby!



 
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