United States

Zoetis DEFENSOR® Vaccines Now Available to Help Protect Ferrets from Rabies

DEFENSOR® for dogs, cats, cattle and sheep now approved for use in ferrets

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Feb. 28, 2017 – Zoetis today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an expanded label claim for DEFENSOR® 1 and DEFENSOR® 3 vaccines to include protection against rabies in ferrets ages three months or older. Now veterinarians can benefit from one convenient vaccine option to help provide safe and efficacious rabies coverage across five species. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are 748,000 pet ferrets living in 334,000 households across the United States.1

"Rabies prevention in ferrets is critical, as this almost always deadly virus is capable of infecting many other pets and people, too," said Dr. Laurie Hess* of the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics in Bedford Hills, New York. “It is great to see that Zoetis went out of its way to gain a claim extension to include ferrets and to help prevent the risk of rabies virus infection in these loveable companions. As a result, I am hopeful that even more ferrets will be protected from this fatal and zoonotic disease.”

Vaccination of ferrets to help prevent infection with rabies virus is required by state law and supported by both the AVMA and the American Ferret Association. The AVMA states that rabies is "entirely preventable through vaccination,"2 and the American Ferret Association "recommends vaccinating ferrets with USDA licensed vaccine products labeled for use in ferrets."3

"All mammals are at risk for rabies. Expanding the label claim for DEFENSOR provides veterinarians with a rabies vaccine that they can use on the majority of their small and large animal patients without having to stock multiple products," said Shelley Stanford, DVM, group director, Companion Animal Division Veterinary Professional Services at Zoetis.

Efficacy was confirmed in a one-year duration of immunity study in which none of the vaccinated animals were infected with rabies when challenged 12 months after a single dose of DEFENSOR.4 During a field safety study conducted in 200 ferrets, no significant post-vaccination reactions were observed.5

DEFENSOR vaccines contain a highly immunogenic fixed strain of rabies virus that originated from Louis Pasteur’s original 1882 isolate and has been extensively tested for freedom from contaminating agents. It uses an established cell line that yields a vaccine with consistent potency. DEFENSOR was first approved in 1992 and has been demonstrated to be uniformly safe in experimental tests. No significant adverse reactions were reported in extensive clinical trials of the vaccine.6 DEFENSOR vaccines meet California potency standards and feature customer-friendly packaging with peel-off labels to help with fast and accurate recordkeeping.

Zoetis will update its labeling on future production serials of all DEFENSOR vaccines. Current DEFENSOR inventories may be used by veterinarians to vaccinate ferrets as the formulation has not changed.

To order DEFENSOR or to learn more about the vaccine, visit www.defensorvaccines.com, call Zoetis Customer Service at 1-888-Zoetis1 (1-888-963-8471) or contact your Zoetis sales representative.

About Zoetis
Zoetis is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.

For further information contact:
Colleen White
Zoetis 
973-822-7203 
colleen.white@zoetis.com

Lindsey Goodman
Archer Malmo
706-201-6721
lgoodman@archermalmo.com

References:
1 U.S. pet ownership statistics. American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx. Accessed September 29, 2016.
2 Rabies and your pet. American Veterinary Medical Association.  https://www.avma.org/public/Health/Pages/rabies.aspx. Accessed November 3, 2016.
3 AFA ferret (M. putorius furo) vaccination policy. The American Ferret Association. http://www.ferret.org/read/vaccinations.html. Accessed November 3, 2016.
4 Data on file, Study Report No. B874R-US-13-017, Zoetis LLC.
5 Data on file, Study Report No. B971R-US-14-021, Zoetis LLC.
6 Data on file, Study Report June 28, 1991, Zoetis LLC.