We knew from the beginning that ferrets would be susceptible to swine flu. H1N1, as it’s known officially, is a very flexible influenza strain that has adapted itself to quite a number of species. MyPetsDoctor.com reported recently the case of an swine-flu-infected cat in Iowa.
In October a ferret in Oregon was diagnosed with swine flu, and now three more case have been positively confirmed by Oregon state officials.
Dr. Emilio DeBess, Oregon’s state public health veterinarian, described the positive tests in three ferrets from a nine-ferret family in Roseburg, Oregon. All nine ferrets are sick with flu-like symptoms, but only these three went to see their veterinarian.
Family members had been sick the week before the pets got sick, but Dr. DeBess says there is no indication that the ferrets passed any virus to people or other animals.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, Dr. “DeBess reminds pet owners that they should contact their veterinarian if their pets show any signs of illness, and that they should take precautions to help reduce the spread of influenza between themselves and their pets. ‘The key message is to protect your animals much like you protect your family,’ he says. ‘Wash your hands, cover your cough and your sneeze, and do your best to prevent contaminating objects your pet may come into contact with.'”
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.