Ferrets boarded at veterinary hospitals or at animal boarding facilities may be infected with Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is a cause of kennel cough in dogs and sometimes cats. This bacterial disease can make stressed ferrets very sick, causing a thick yellowish nasal discharge that blocks the nostrils. If untreated, some develop pneumonia that responds poorly to antibiotics. Occasionally, the bacteria produce a toxin that causes convulsions and coma.
The best way to avoid Bordetella bronchiseptica infection is either not to board the ferret where there are dogs, or have it vaccinated before it enters the kennel. There is a killed, injectable Bordetella bacterin intended for dogs that works well in ferrets. It must be given at least 10 days before exposure to infection to have its greatest effect, and the ferret should have a booster the day it enters the kennel.
There is also an intranasal vaccine for dogs that contains live bacteria and canine parainfluenza virus. This vaccine may induce respiratory disease in ferrets and is NOT recommended for them.
Some boarding kennels house ferrets in the same area as cats, which less frequently carry Bordetella. It is still wise to have the ferret vaccinated when boarded, because the bacteria are airborne and can be carried on people's hands.
Okay, well..can't prevent exposure at this point. So what do I do? Definitely going to keep stress levels down, the boys will stay home for however long is needed. My vet I usually use isn't normally in on saturday but I can still go in if we need to (I don't like the other vets quite as much)..but I think I ought to wait until symptoms appear if they are going to.
I think in this area there are multiple kinds of kennel cough too so hopefully the one Douglas has is viral and dog specific and won't cross over to the ferrets or the cats.
Do you think if they get it and get antibiotics right away they will get better and be alright? They aren't exactly old so they have good immune systems.
From what I've read previously, the bordatella vaccine is iffy at best as to whether or not it will give protection. And since they've already been exposed their immune system will either mount a defense or it won't. Vaccinating isn't going to change that. TBH at this point, I'd still limit contact just in case, and keep an eye out for anything that may happen. Also, talk to the vet so he has an idea they have been exposed. Like with anything else, just because they've been exposed doesn't mean they'll contract it.
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Do not vaccinate after the fact. That's doubling up and will result in an immune breakdown. Bordetella vaccine is often a waste of money and time. Dogs will come down with it vaccinated or not (this is a common complaint of people who board their dogs). Vaccinating a ferret with a dog vaccine is not the best way to deal with a disease to begin with though it's done. Bordetella if treated properly is no worse than a cold for us. It's a horrible sounding cough but is a virus and must run it's course. Only a few dogs does the disease ever progress to the more dangerous form of pneumonia. ciao
Kennel cough is contagious until the coughing, sneezing and any nasal discharge is gone. Antibiotics are only to help with a secondary infection. It does nothing for the kennel cough itself since it is a viral infection. Many vets give antibiotics as a preventive. Our home deals with it a lot due to me volunteering at the shelter and grooming dogs in our home.
I'm with Heather. My dogs have been exposed to KC and have great immune systems and don't get it. Every time I bring in a dog that has supposedly been vaccinated, they get sick( the new dog). That being said, I have caught it myself so be sure you keep your hands washed. It is a really annoying cough and I had a h*ll of a time getting rid of it.
I had nothing but a dry hacking cough. I didn't think anything of it but was in to see my vet with another dog and she asked about it and told me she had caught it before. It just has to run it's course. It was March and we were having a streak of nice warm weather so I was able to open the windows and really air out the house and get my germ killing diffuser going and that was the end of it.
I should have added,,,KC has come thru my house many times. That particular time I took in 3 cute little terrier mix brothers and they brought in their crud,,,kc, giardia, they were a mess. I've only caught it that one time, and not once since. I wouldn't worry.