I had a nagging recollection that the concept that ferret tend to need
more Vitamin A in their diets than they usually get these days (not
only in many pre-made diets but also in many homemade diets) and i
thought that i knew who had said it but with all the family needs in
recent years I hadn't had time to search it out.
So, first the abstract and article URL which bears out that hypothesis,
and then the URLs of the posts where I'd run into the concept years
ago and thought about it. You will notice that the person is one with
whom I sometimes disagree (and vice versa), and that is fine. As an
excellent prof once said, "It is not important that you agree with
me. What is important is that you have enough respect and courtesy to
actually think about what I am saying." In this case I did not agree or
disagree with the hypothesis. There was not enough data, but it was an
intriguing hypothesis so it is cool that it panned out and he got it
>J Nutr. 2007 Aug;137(8):1916-22.
>Disease manifestations of canine distemper virus infection in ferrets
>are modulated by vitamin A status.
>Rodeheffer C, von Messling V, Milot S, Lepine F, Manges AR, Ward BJ.
>McGill University Health Centre Research Institute, Faculty of
>Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Montreal General Hospital,
>Montreal, QC, Canada.
>The measles virus (MV) causes half a million childhood deaths
>annually. Vitamin A supplements significantly reduce
>measles-associated mortality and morbidity. The mechanisms whereby
>vitamin A acts against MV are not understood and currently there is
>no satisfactory small animal model for MV infection. We report on the
>development of a ferret model to study antiviral activity of vitamin A
>against canine distemper virus (CDV). CDV is closely related to MV at
>the molecular level anddistemper in ferrets mimics measles in humans.
>We infected vitamin A-replete (control) and vitamin A-depleted ferrets
>with CDV and assessed the ability of high-dosevitamin A supplements
>to influence CDV disease. In control ferrets, CDV infection caused
>fever, rash, conjunctivitis, cough, coryza, and diarrhea. In contrast,
>controlferrets that were given 30 mg of vitamin A did not develop
>typical distemper after infection and exhibited only a mild rash. The
>supplement did not negatively affect ferrethealth and resulted in a
>100% increase in serum and liver vitamin A concentrations. We also
>found that profound vitamin A deficiency is inducible in ferrets and
>can be rapidly reversed upon high-dose vitamin A supplementation.
>Vitamin A deficiency caused anorexia, diarrhea, cataracts, behavioral
>abnormalities, and ultimately death, with or without CDV infection.
>All ferrets that received vitamin A supplements, however, recovered
>uneventfully from CDV infection. These results replicate many aspects
>of the observations of vitamin A therapy in humans with measles and
>suggest that CDV infection in ferrets is an appropriate model for the
>study of the antiviral mechanism of vitamin A.
>PMID: 17634264 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text
And here are 2002 mentions of the hypothesis that too many ferrets
these days MIGHT not be getting enough vitamin A in their diets (though
unlikely to be little enough to cause acute problems, but maybe low
enough to cause the nagging problems related to chronic low levels)
and there are some studies you can find through PubMed indicating that
homemade diets like commercial ones for pets might too often be too
inclined to be too low in vitamin A. So, anyway, see what Bob Church
hypothesized in 2002 (5 years before the publication quoted above):
In the literature you will find additional things learned since those
posts about vitamin A including that ferrets might not utilize all of
the precursors all that well. Over time evidence grows through careful
study, and more is learned. Such is life.
Sukie (not a vet)
Recommended ferret health links:
all ferret topics:
"All hail the procrastinators for they shall rule the world tomorrow."
(2010, Steve Crandall)
On change for its own sake: "You can go really fast if you just jump
off the cliff." (2010, Steve Crandall)
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:37:45 -0400
From: Debbie <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: one day left for auction and raffle
Our auction and raffle end tomorrow at 4:00. Please take a moment and
see if there is anything you would like to bid on or any raffle you'd
like to spend a dollar or so on. Every bit helps!
Help! My Ferrets Stole My Heart! T-shirt Lg - only @ $5!
Nice hand drawing of your ferret - only @ $21 (worth $45!)
Lots of sets of jewelry - starting @ only $3!
Awesome Santa Ferret with clay toys, sleep sacks, etc. - only @ $22
Debbie, Kindness Matters Ferret Rescue
http://fbogkmfra.blogspot.com/ - auctions
Be sure to click on Older Posts to see all the auctions!
http://fbogkmfrr.blogspot.com/ - raffles
[Posted in FML 7227]