Aleutian disease

From Ferret

Aleutian disease (Plasmacytosis; Aleutian mink disease parvovirus (ADV)) is a parvoviral infection in ferrets which causes gastroenteritis and abortions in mustelids worldwide[1][2].

Named after cases diagnosed in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska), clinical signs of this disease can be nonspecific and acute deaths are common[3].

Ferrets may show signs of dyspnea, fever and hindlimb ataxia and paresis[4], characteristic of meningitis[5].

Other symptoms include poor reproduction, oral and gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure and uremia.

Diagnosis can be based on presenting clinical signs, haematological test which reveal hypergammaglobulinaemia, and histopathological changes in the central nervous system and parvovirus-like particles in mesenteric lymph nodes[6].

A definitive diagnosis requires PCR identification of parvoviral particles in submitted tissues[7].


  1. Pennick KE et al (2005) Persistent viral shedding during asymptomatic Aleutian mink disease parvoviral infection in a ferret. J Vet Diagn Invest 17(6):594-597
  2. Moorman-Roest J (2005) Aleutian disease in ferrets from New Zealand. Tijdschr Diergeneeskd 130(13):404-406
  3. Palley LS et al (1992) Parvovirus-associated syndrome (Aleutian disease) in two ferrets. J Am Vet Med Assoc 201(1):100-106
  4. Oxenham M (1992) Aleutian disease in ferrets. Vet Rec 131(13):296
  5. Une Y et al (2000) Spontaneous Aleutian disease in a ferret. J Vet Med Sci 62(5):553-555
  6. Welchman Dde B et al (1993) Aleutian disease in domestic ferrets: diagnostic findings and survey results. Vet Rec 132(19):479-484
  7. Murakami M et al (2001) Nucleotide sequence and polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses of Aleutian disease virus in ferrets in Japan. J Vet Diagn Invest 13(4):337-340