FSCV

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Mucoid sheds characteristic of ferret diarrhea associated with FSCV[1]
FSCV-associated hepatitis in a ferret with pyogranulomas[2].

Ferret systemic coronavirus infection (FSCV) is a viral disease of ferrets which clinically and pathologically resembles the dry form of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)[3][4].

This disease has been reported in the USA and Europe[5].

FSCV is caused by an enteric coronavirus, which is closely related to a variant which causes ferret enteric coronavirus infection[6], a usually self-limiting form of diarrhea, but in epizootic outbreaks in ferrets colonies, disease outbreaks are characterized by epizootic catarrhal enteritis with foul-smelling green diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting[7].

Clinical signs in ferrets affected by FSCV can be vague and nonspecific but are attributable to systemic pyogranuloma formation and vasculitis. Common clinical signs are anorexia, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, dyspnea and palpable intra-abdominal masses. Less frequently, neurological symptoms may appear, such as hind-limb paresis and central nervous system signs[8]. As is a feature in cats, young ferrets appear more at risk.

Ascites is not a feature of this disease as it is with FIP in cats, but has been reported sporadically.

Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs and blood tests, which usually show mild anemia, thrombocytopenia, and hypergammaglobulinemia. As is characteristic in feline patients with coronaviral infections, the globulin/albumin ratio is markedly elevated[9].

Supportive diagnostic tests such as radiographs and ultrasonography suggest peritonitis, abdominal lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, lipid pneumonia, abdominal soft-tissue masses and organomegaly[10]. Histopathologically, multifocal granulomas are pathognomonic for the disease.

In ferrets, a differential diagnosis would include Aleutian disease and pleuropneumonia.

As in feline studies, definitive diagnosis requires immunohistochemical analysis of laboratory submitted tissue samples.

References

  1. Lafeber Vet
  2. Garner MM et al (2008) Clinicopathologic features of a systemic coronavirus-associated disease resembling feline infectious peritonitis in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius). Vet Pathol 45(2):236-246
  3. Dominguez E et al (2011) Abdominal radiographic and ultrasonographic findings in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) with systemic coronavirus infection. Vet Rec 169(9):231
  4. Martínez J et al (2006) Detection of feline infectious peritonitis virus-like antigen in ferrets. Vet Rec (15):523
  5. Murray J et al (2010) Ferret coronavirus-associated diseases. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 13(3):543-560
  6. Wise AG et al (2010) Comparative sequence analysis of the distal one-third of the genomes of a systemic and an enteric ferret coronavirus. Virus Res 149(1):42-50
  7. Provacia LB et al (2011) Enteric coronavirus in ferrets, The Netherlands. Emerg Infect Dis 17(8):1570-1571
  8. Michimae Y et al (2010) The First Case of Feline Infectious Peritonitis-like Pyogranuloma in a Ferret Infected by Coronavirus in Japan. J Toxicol Pathol 23(2):99-101
  9. Perpiñán D & López C (2008) Clinical aspects of systemic granulomatous inflammatory syndrome in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Vet Rec 162(6):180-184
  10. Martínez J 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