Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Ferrets

Ferret systemic coronavirus

Synonym(s): FRSCV, FSCV, Granulomatous inflammatory syndrome, Ferret FIP

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, David Perpinan

Introduction

 
  • Cause: ferret systemic coronavirus is an emerging disease syndrome in ferrets characterized by granulomatous lesions induced by a coronavirus.
  • Signs: it closely resembles the 'dry form' of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
  • Diagnosis: hematology/serum chemistries/protein electrophoresis, radiography, ultrasonography.
  • Treatment: most management recommendations are derived from protocols used in cats.
  • Prognosis: grave.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • FRSCV is caused by a coronavirus that may be a mutated form of the virus that causes ferret epizootic catarrhal enteritis Epizootic catarrhal enteritis, or ferret enteric coronavirus (FRECV).
  • In cats, the mutation (which allows the virus to invade and replicate in macrophages) is generally believed to occur individually in each affected animal.  It is unknown if the same is true in ferrets.
  • Most clinical signs are caused not by the virus itself, but by the marked immune response that it elicits.
  • Many affected animals are febrile on presentation, and histopathology generally reveals multifocal pyogranulomatous inflammation affecting multiple organ systems.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Young animals, particularly those undergoing stress such as early weaning, early neutering, overcrowding, transportation, etc.
  • More common when young ferrets are in or originate from shelters, breeding facilities, large pet shops, etc.

Timecourse

  • It is a chronic disease, but life-span after diagnosis is usually 2-4 months.

Epidemiology

  • Unknown, although currently it is thought that the mutation of the FRECV occurs within a ferret to the FRSCV.
  • Many ferrets are produced in a commercial breeding facility and are infected with FRECV while still with their jills.
  • It still unknown whether the mutated form of the virus is communicable, for this reason it is prudent to isolate affected animals.
  • The disease was initially reported in 2004 and cases were commonly seen in affected geographical areas. However, the incidence of the disease today is reduced and it has become enzootic in some areas, probably as a result of ferrets developing some kind of immunity.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Dominguez E, Novellas R, Moya A et al (2011) Abdominal radiographic and ultrasonographic findings in ferrets with systemic coronavirus infection. Vet Rec 169 (9), 231 PubMed.
  • Garner M M, Ramsell K, Morera N, Juan-Salles C et al (2008) Clinicopathologic features of a systemic coronavirus-associated disease resembling feline infectious peritonitis in the domestic ferret. Vet Pathol 45 (2), 236-246 PubMed.
  • Martínez J, Reinacher M, Perpiñán D et al (2008) Identification of group 1 coronavirus antigen in multisystemic granulomatous lesions in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). J Comp Pathol 138 (1), 54-58 PubMed.
  • Perpiñán D & López C (2008) Clinical aspects of systemic granulomatous inflammatory syndrome in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Vet Rec 162 (6), 180-184 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Swisher S & Lennox A M (2017) Disorders of the Haemic, Immunological and Lymphatic Systems. In: Ferret Medicine and Surgery. Ed: Johnson-Delaney C A. CRC Press, USA. pp 237-258.
  • Kiupel M & Perpiñán D (2014) Viral Diseases of Ferrets. In: Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Eds: Fox J G & Marini R P. Wiley-Blackwell, NY, USA. pp 439-517.
  • Mayer J, Erdman S E & Fox J G (2014) Diseases of the Hematopoietic System. In: Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Eds: Fox J G & Marini R P. Wiley-Blackwell, NY, USA. pp 311-334.

Organisation(s)


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