ADV, or Aleutian Disease Virus, is an inflammatory disease in ferrets. It is highly contagious, so much so that ADV testing is recommended by many owners when introducing a new fuzzy to your tribe (more commonly referred to as a "business" of ferrets).
ADV is a debilitating, fatal disease. Symptoms include:
- "ascending weakness" which is back to front, meaning the hind end is affected first.
- blood in the stool
- weight loss
- enlargement of the liver or spleen
There are other symptoms, of course, but it's wise to remember at this point that everything mentioned can and often does pass for other common illnesses in ferrets which makes diagnosis quite difficult.
Another thing to remember is that ADV isn't a visible disease. Testing is the ONLY way to know if your ferret has it before symptoms begin to present and once that happens, it's far too late. It's a ugly way for your fuzzy to die, so testing is recommended as soon as you get your critter BEFORE exposing him (or the rest of your business) to each other. Ask your ferret vet for the Elisa test.
There is a very informative article here which explains in more depth about this awful disease.
Information in this article was provided from The Holistic Ferret Forum. It's a GREAT place to educate yourself about your ferret friend and connect with other ferret lovers like yourself. Check them out today!