Message Number: FHL5031 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2008-05-26 15:54:21 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: That old question again - adrenal disease, surgery vs Lupron?
To: fhl <>

Make the choice depending on the ferret and what has worked best
for the vet. At this point it is still not known if latitude might
influence how well Lupron works, vets can differ in their surgical
skills, some ferrets just are not great surgical candidates whereas
other ferrets might not only be great surgical candidates but
might also have other problems that would benefit from surgical

Having had a small number of ferrets who had adrenal malignancies
instead of the usual neoplasia Steve and i like the way that surgery
prevents that, but we certainly have had some ferrets for whom
Lupron Depot plus a Melatonin Implant was the best way to go, and
some for whom the Lupron depot without the melatonin implant was
the best option. Since melatonin alone is the weakest approach and
oral melatonin less useful and useful for shorter time frames when
careful studies have been done we have never gone that route as a
solo approach. Notice that the Lupron is the depot, not the 24 hour
Lupron. When deslorelin depots of the right types are finally allowed
here in the U.S. those might outshine Lupron (and certainly the ones
elsewhere last longer and are cheaper) both for treatment and for
possible prevention. Also, new work is being done on a vaccine type
of approach to hopefully provide prevention by shutting off the
hormonal cascade which begins the process.

Be sure, too, to provide enough access to total darkness for ferrets.
(See past posts in the FHL Archives:

If both adrenals come out completely enough the ferret will need to
have critical adrenal products replaced. This is done by providing
either Fludrocort/Florinef or Percorten, along with a specific class of
steroid with either, for example, Prednisolone. That will keep certain
electrolytes (sodium and potassium) at the levels and proportions
needed to avoid an Addisons Crisis which is a fatal problem if not
controlled and prevented. It also will help with hydration. While
adjusting the levels it may be necessary for some of the ferrets to
have a touch of table salt, and expect the levels to need adjusting
when ferrets taking the meds gain weight, become more active, or
are under stress (especially physical stress). Some ferrets do better
on one approach rather than the other (varies according to the
individual) but there is no pattern to that except that if the ferret
another problem which causes diarrhea then the combo including
Percorten is best because the Fludrocort may not have time to be

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:

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