Message Number: YPG79 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 23:50:46 EST
Subject: [ferrethealth] Vet input
Seems there has been some interesting comments about
adrenal gland disease and how to treat adrenal gland disease.
So lets clear up some of the terminology and confusion.
Ferrets develop hyperadrenocorticism (ie adrenal gland disease),
and their adrenal glands overproduce the sex hormones and
the adrenal androgens (DHEA, ANDRO, PROGESTERONE,
AND ESTROGEN). Dogs and people develop hyperadrenocorticism
(Cushing's disease), and their adrenal glands overproduce cortisol.
Cushings is the correct term for cortisol overproduction, and
it is a good term for dogs and people.
Because ferrets rarely overproduce cortisol, Cushings is not an
accurate term for ferrets.
Likewise since ferrets do not overproduce cortisol, some of the
drugs used for dogs do not work well for ferrets.
Vetoryl (trilostane) is a good drug to use for dogs, but it may not
be a good drug for ferrets. Vetoryl will increase the amount of
progesterone produced. Progesterone is one of the hormones
that ferrets with adrenal gland disease can over produce (see
above). Thus Vetoryl is not the best option for ferrets.
Lupron depot (also called Lueprorelin in Europe) (Leuprolide acetate)
is a VERY SAFE product. I have been using it for more than 8.5
years now. It does not cause any liver damage or have any side
effects on the liver in ferrets! It works by stopping the stimulation
(LH) to the adrenal glands. Then the adrenal glands stop over
producing the sex hormones and adrenal androgens. If Lupron
is used with cases of hyperplasia and adenomas, it may
shrink the size of the adrenal glands. It may also help keep
carcinomas from getting bigger.
Suprelorin implants (deslorelin acetate) is another product that
stops the stimulation (LH) to the adrenal glands and then the
adrenal glands stop over producing the sex hormones and
adrenal androgens. It is not yet available here in the US, but
it is available in Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries.
The 4.7 mg implant is the recommend dose
Melatonin (implants or orally) is another option. Melatonin should also
lower the LH level and the sex hormone and androgen levels. The
big question with melatonin is whether the ferret will become
refractory to it when used over a long time. Melatonin should also
help prevent the adrenal gland from becoming larger as was shown
in the U of Wisconsin oral melatonin study.
Yes, Lupron and melatonin can be used together! In my opinion
using melatonin and Lupron together gives you the best of both
worlds and is the best option for medical management of adrenal
gland disease in ferrets.
Hope that helps,
Jerry Murray, DVM
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