Message Number: YG2073 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-04-02 19:08:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: Early neutering

Hi Brett,
The AD that you include in your post is it to mean Adrenal
Disease? Please note that AD usually refers to
Aleutian Disease a parvovirus of ferrets and mink.
The difference between "early" spay/neuter (roughly 4 to 6
weeks here in the US) and "late" spay/neuter that is done in
the Netherlands (1 to 1.5 years of age) is in the percentage
of adrenal gland disease. Here in the US it has been estimated
at 20-25% by Dr Weiss and 33% by Dr Brown. Over in the Netherlands
it was estimated at only 0.55%. It will be interesting to hear from
other countries (ie England, Sweden, Australia, and Canada) about
how common adrenal gland disease is in other countries and about
the husbandry of ferrets there (age of spay/neuter, photoperiods,

Yes, Lupron and Melatonin lower the LH and FSH levels, so they may
actually be prevention options, since they are used to induce a
like effect that stops the stimulation to the adrenal glands. No
study has
been done (that I know of) to look at using these as a prevention
I current suggest Lupron if only one adrenal gland is removed to
protect the remaining gland and when only most of the right gland is

removed to slow down regrowth of the right gland. I have been
these case on clinical signs only, so no definitive conclusion can
jumped to. Plus it has not been long enough time wise to declare
that it
works as a preventive. However so far so good. My own male has been
on it
for roughly 1.5 years after removal of his left gland. I know this
is not
a well controlled study, but it is worth looking into. Perhaps the
mink melatonin implant injected in the fall, or the nightly
tablets during the fall and winter months, or using Lupron during
the fall and
winter months would prevent the adrenal glands from becoming a
I do not know for sure, but it might work.
Jerry Murray, DVM