Message Number: FHL11237 | New FHL Archives Search
From: "Tressie"
Date: 2010-04-02 17:15:32 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: Deslorelin side effects

Hi Jeff,

While I couldn't find anything published in the professional journals on De=
slorelin as a preventative for adrenal disease, I did locate some papers on=
its use in breeding ferrets (below). I've also included the abstract for =
the Wagner (2005) paper, which you may have probably already seen.

This means it does suppress the hormonal swings and it would stand to reaso=
n that it would comparably suppress early signs of adrenal disease. Howeve=
r, doesn't answer your basic question whether it can prevent the developmen=
t of adrenal disease altogether. You may wish to contact some of the resea=
rchers (i.e., Shoemaker, Wagner,or Prohaczik), who are studying Deslorelin =
and see what they have to say about its use as a potential preventative.

Vet Rec. 2010 Jan 16;166(3):74-8.
Comparison of four treatments to suppress ovarian activity in ferrets (Must=
ela putorius furo).

Proh=E1czik A, Kulcs=E1r M, Trigg T, Driancourt MA, Huszenicza G.

Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent Istv=E1n University, Istv=E1n utca 2, =
1078 Budapest, Hungary.

Twenty-five ferret jills were randomly allocated to five groups of five ani=
mals; they were treated either before the breeding season with 15 mg medrox=
yprogesterone acetate (MPA), with 40 mg proligestone or with a slow-releasi=
ng device containing 4.7 mg of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) ag=
onist deslorelin acetate (srGnRH), or at spring oestrus with 100 iu human c=
horionic gonadotropin (hCG), or were left untreated and mated. All the ferr=
ets were assessed for signs of oestrus and their ovarian response was monit=
ored by individual faecal progesterone metabolite (P4-met) profiles. The me=
an (sd) durations of treatment-induced ovarian quiescence were 94 (18), 99 =
(40), 53 (9) and 698 (122) days in the group treated with MPA, proligestone=
, hCG and srGnRH, respectively (P<0.001). Treatment with hCG and srGnRH pro=
ved to be the safest, while MPA treatment was associated with most side eff=
ects. Both MPA and proligestone treatments caused alopecia in one ferret pe=
r group, and after the first return to oestrus and mating an MPA-treated ji=
ll had a premature delivery and developed a purulent vaginal discharge. At =
the first post-treatment mating, the fertility (expressed as the percentage=
of ferrets mated in the group that produced a litter) was 75 per cent in t=
he MPA-treated group, 60 per cent in the proligestone-treated group, 75 per=
cent in the hCG-treated group and 0 per cent in the srGnRH-treated group; =
in the control group, fertility was 100 per cent at mating in spring and 60=
per cent at mating in summer. Three srGnRH-treated jills conceived at the =
second post-treatment oestrus.


Theriogenology. 2008 Jul 15;70(2):161-7. Epub 2008 Apr 25.
Use of a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist implant as an alternative f=
or surgical castration in male ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

Schoemaker NJ, van Deijk R, Muijlaert B, Kik MJ, Kuijten AM, de Jong FH, Tr=
igg TE, Kruitwagen CL, Mol JA.

Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary=
Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. N.J.Schoemaker@

Surgical castration in ferrets has been implicated as an etiological factor=
in the development of hyperadrenocorticism in this species due to a castra=
tion-related increase in plasma gonadotropins. In search for a suitable alt=
ernative, the effect of treatment with the depot GnRH-agonist implant, desl=
orelin, on plasma testosterone concentrations and concurrent testes size, s=
permatogenesis, and the typical musky odor of intact male ferrets was inves=
tigated. Twenty-one male ferrets, equally divided into three groups, were e=
ither surgically castrated, received a slow release deslorelin implant or r=
eceived a placebo implant. Plasma FSH and testosterone concentrations, test=
is size and spermatogenesis were all suppressed after the use of the deslor=
elin implant. The musky odor in the ferrets which had received a deslorelin=
implant was less compared to the ferrets which were either surgically cast=
rated or had received a placebo implant. These results indicate that the de=
slorelin implant effectively prevents reproduction and the musky odor of in=
tact male ferrets and is therefore considered a suitable alternative for su=
rgical castration in these animals.

Am J Vet Res. 2005 May;66(5):910-4.
Clinical and endocrine responses to treatment with deslorelin acetate impla=
nts in ferrets with adrenocortical disease.

Wagner RA, Pich=E9 CA, J=F6chle W, Oliver JW.

Division of Laboratory Animal Resources, 3500 Terrace St, S1049 BST, Univer=
sity of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical and endocrine responses of ferrets with=
adrenocortical disease (ACD) to treatment with a slow-release implant of d=
eslorelin acetate. ANIMALS: 15 ferrets with ACD. PROCEDURE: Ferrets were tr=
eated SC with a single slow-release, 3-mg implant of deslorelin acetate. Pl=
asma estradiol, androstenedione, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations =
were measured before and after treatment and at relapse of clinical signs; =
at that time, the adrenal glands were grossly or ultrasonographically measu=
red and affected glands that were surgically removed were examined histolog=
ically. RESULTS: Compared with findings before deslorelin treatment, vulvar=
swelling, pruritus, sexual behaviors, and aggression were significantly de=
creased or eliminated within 14 days of implantation; hair regrowth was evi=
dent 4 to 6 weeks after treatment. Within 1 month of treatment, plasma horm=
one concentrations significantly decreased and remained decreased until cli=
nical relapse. Mean time to recurrence of clinical signs was 13.7 +/- 3.5 m=
onths (range, 8.5 to 20.5 months). In 5 ferrets, large palpable tumors deve=
loped within 2 months of clinical relapse; 3 of these ferrets were euthanat=
ized because of adrenal gland tumor metastasis to the liver or tumor necros=
is. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In ferrets with ACD, a slow-release=
deslorelin implant appears promising as a treatment to temporarily elimina=
te clinical signs and decrease plasma steroid hormone concentrations. Deslo=
relin may not decrease adrenal tumor growth in some treated ferrets. Deslor=
elin implants may be useful in the long-term management of hormone-induced =
sequelae in ferrets with ACD and in treatment of animals that are considere=
d at surgical or anesthetic risk.

If I find anything else I'll post it.


[If we don't have people's permission to post their
email addresses we don't do so, but the article can
always be sought using the search terms it suggests/


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