Chapter 23 Diseases of the Respiratory System
There are only a few causes of respiratory disease in the ferret. Canine distemper virus and human flu virus can produce respiratory disease. Most pet ferrets today are routinely vaccinated against canine distemper, and this disease is not commonly seen.
(From Quesenberry KE, Carpenter JW: Ferrets, rabbits, and rodents, ed 2, St Louis, 2004, Saunders, by permission.)
Rodents are frequently seen in the veterinary practice for respiratory problems. Care should be taken when handling and collecting laboratory samples if the animal is dyspneic. The most common causes of respiratory diseases in mice are the Sendai virus and Mycoplasma pulmonis. Sendai viral infection is an acute respiratory infection with a high mortality rate in neonates and weanlings. Adult mice generally recover. Mycoplasma infection generally results in pneumonia, suppurative rhinitis, and sometimes otitis media. Antibiotic therapy will help to eliminate the symptoms but not the disease.