This disease has been reported in the USA and Europe.
FSCV is caused by an enteric coronavirus, which is closely related to a variant which causes ferret enteric coronavirus infection, 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.
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. 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.
Supportive diagnostic tests such as radiographs and ultrasonography suggest peritonitis, abdominal lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, lipid pneumonia, abdominal soft-tissue masses and organomegaly. Histopathologically, multifocal granulomas are pathognomonic for the disease.
As in feline studies, definitive diagnosis requires immunohistochemical analysis of laboratory submitted tissue samples.
- Lafeber Vet
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