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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Possible risk to pet ferrets from COVID-19

    I hope this doesn't pose the same risk to pet ferrets, but I'd be surprised if it doesn't, so I wanted to share this info. I hope ferret keepers are cautious.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/...f54df4b0467c5d


    5 hr 27 min agoAt least 8,000 mink dead in Utah after contracting Covid-19

    From CNN's Cheri Mossburg
    Utah ranchers have lost at least 8,000 mink to an outbreak of Covid-19 among the animals known for their silky, luxurious pelts.
    The virus first appeared in the creatures in August, shortly after farmworkers fell ill in July, according to Dr. Dean Taylor, state veterinarian of Utah. Initial research shows the virus was transmitted from humans to animals, and so far has not seen any cases of the opposite.
    “Everything we’ve looked at here in Utah suggests it's gone from the humans to the animals,” Taylor told CNN.
    “It feels like a unidirectional path,” he said, adding that testing is still underway.
    Some context: This is the first outbreak among mink in the United States, though other cases have been detected in the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
    Mink, which are closely related to weasels, otter and ferrets, appear to suffer similar symptoms to humans. Difficulty breathing and crusting around the eyes are usually seen, but the virus progresses rapidly, and most infected mink are dead by the next day, according to Taylor. It’s unclear what makes mink such a susceptible species, while others appear to be unaffected.
    Mink join only cats, dogs, a tiger and a lion to be the only confirmed animals with Covid-19 in the US, according to the USDA data.
    The cluster of cases in Utah has spread to nine farms, but Taylor warns that “we’re still in the middle of the outbreak.” Each farm is under quarantine with only essential workers permitted on site. Farmworkers are being directed to use proper protective equipment at all times.
    The pelts from most of the mink that have died from the virus have been either contained and buried or incinerated. No pelts have left the state, according to Taylor.
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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Oof that's awful. I'd read ferrets can catch it, they can get the flu and colds from humans already. I do try and remember to be cautious with mine but it's tough. I lost one ferret unexpectedly a couple months ago and it did cross my mind but I don't think that's what took him. Sickly little buggers they are.
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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Possible risk to pet ferrets from COVID-19

    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    Oof that's awful. I'd read ferrets can catch it, they can get the flu and colds from humans already. I do try and remember to be cautious with mine but it's tough. I lost one ferret unexpectedly a couple months ago and it did cross my mind but I don't think that's what took him. Sickly little buggers they are.
    Hmmmm.... That's odd. I lost two the same day a few weeks back. Never once did it cross my mind that covid could have been responsible. The other two have been acting perfectly normal, and they were all living in the same enclosure (4x6x6 closet I built into an enclosure).

    I was aware they could catch colds and flu, but this is the first story of animals in the ferret family contracting covid I've heard.

    It seems unlikely that covid is to blame, Katie and I are healthy and vigilant. Since March literally only Katie's sister and niece have entered our house, so I'd be shocked, especially considering they didn't enter that room and the door is always closed.

    Sorry for you loss, by the way.
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    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Possible risk to pet ferrets from COVID-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Hmmmm.... That's odd. I lost two the same day a few weeks back. Never once did it cross my mind that covid could have been responsible. The other two have been acting perfectly normal, and they were all living in the same enclosure (4x6x6 closet I built into an enclosure).

    I was aware they could catch colds and flu, but this is the first story of animals in the ferret family contracting covid I've heard.

    It seems unlikely that covid is to blame, Katie and I are healthy and vigilant. Since March literally only Katie's sister and niece have entered our house, so I'd be shocked, especially considering they didn't enter that room and the door is always closed.

    Sorry for you loss, by the way.
    Oh no...I'm so sorry, whatever the cause. I agree, it does seem unlikely to have been COVID if the others didn't catch it too, but still?

    And GoingPostal, I'm sorry about your loss as well. I've never had a ferret but came close to getting one some years back, & at least they seem to live every day to the fullest & having fun. They're so cute!
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-09-2020 at 04:34 PM.
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    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Thanks. I've been keeping a very close eye on the other two. They're eating, not losing weight, still jumping around like goofballs. So I'm puzzled. Losing two in one day seems really strange. I was in complete shock when I found one, nevermind two.

    I always go through the "I'm a bad pet dad" and "I did something wrong" phase after losing a pet, but this one has me truly stumped. I'm confident I didn't do anything wrong, and I know they lived great, happy ferret lives. But I would love answers. I didn't get necropsies done, so I'll never know though.

    But I'm not blaming myself, I know I take great care of my pets. They live better than I do, hahahhahaha. It's just hard to not blame myself when I dont have another answer.

    But you're so right, ferrets absolutely love life to the fullest!! And I know my girls did too. Oddly, it was both females who passed, the makes seem fine. But I couldn't find any info on that either
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 10-09-2020 at 04:45 PM.
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    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Craig, I guess it's still possible that your two females just happened to inhale a minute trace of the virus that never made it to the others, if ferrets are so susceptible?
    Even with humans, it seems that how sick a person gets depends in part on how much exposure they got. Whatever happened I'm sure was just out of your hands...

    I never imagined that when I posted this just to give everyone with ferrets a "heads-up" that there had already been losses. so so sorry!
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    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Re: Possible risk to pet ferrets from COVID-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Thanks. I've been keeping a very close eye on the other two. They're eating, not losing weight, still jumping around like goofballs. So I'm puzzled. Losing two in one day seems really strange. I was in complete shock when I found one, nevermind two.

    I always go through the "I'm a bad pet dad" and "I did something wrong" phase after losing a pet, but this one has me truly stumped. I'm confident I didn't do anything wrong, and I know they lived great, happy ferret lives. But I would love answers. I didn't get necropsies done, so I'll never know though.

    But I'm not blaming myself, I know I take great care of my pets. They live better than I do, hahahhahaha. It's just hard to not blame myself when I dont have another answer.
    ,
    But you're so right, ferrets absolutely love life to the fullest!! And I know my girls did too. Oddly, it was both females who passed, the makes seem fine. But I couldn't find any info on that either
    Mine was a big healthy boy so it was a shocker to me as well, his sister has always been super tiny and is borderline insulinomic so I always thought she would be the first to go tbh. They were just at the vet for checkups a month or so earlier too. He was fine the night before, eating and running around, but in the morning he was on the verge of death, already cold and barely breathing. The local vet isn't ferret savvy or well equipped so I just had them help him across the bridge as there was no way he'd make it to my vet. I kept a close eye on my girl left, but it's hard to tell if her not really eating or moving around for awhile were actual illness or just sadness. They take losses hard sometimes. She's back to normal now either way. Very sorry for your own losses, I call them heartbreak pets because owning ferrets is rough.
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    Re: Possible risk to pet ferrets from COVID-19

    I have my two goofs Loki and Freya, Marshall ferrets are the worst sadly.... Insulinoma and various illnesses plague these amazing animals. Both mine are Marshall ferrets but I can tell you this...with them being on a raw diet makes a world of difference ! Never feed Marshall food first ingredient is corn....they’re obligated meat eaters and can’t digest that crap, to be honest it’s cheaper in the long run to feed a balanced raw diet then deal with the vets, and your babies live better and longer.
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