A disease condition which has been a scourge of ferrets is adrenal gland disease. Clinical signs seen with this condition include hair loss, swelling of the vulva (external structure of the female reproductive tract), skin disorders/itching, unusual sexual behavior/aggression, and lack of energy.
Previously, the only true cure of the condition was complete removal of both adrenal glands, which is a very risky surgical procedure. Now there is an implant now available in the United States, SUPRELORIN F, enabling ferret owners to have a simple, convenient, medical alternative for controlling the clinical signs of this disease in their pets.
The SUPRELORIN F Implant has been shown to be effective in a number of experimental studies. The results from these published studies have shown that the most common signs of adrenal disease are all reduced quickly after the implantation with SUPRELORIN F implant and resolve for up to one year. Hair regrowth of 40-80% occurs six weeks after implantation and 90-100% at eight weeks. The vulvar swelling decreases 10-14 days post implantation and returns to normal at six weeks. The skin disorders/itching and unusual sexual behavior/aggression all return to normalcy two weeks after the implant is placed. The symptom of lack of energy improves 14 days post implantation with increased alertness and activity.
The use of the implant also was shown to decrease key hormones (estradiol, hydroxyprogesterone, and androstenedione) within the treatment period. The result is a healthier ferret. Now there is an option that could save ferrets from suffering the effects of adrenal disease or the frequent visits to the veterinarian to receive injections.
SUPRELORIN F Implant has been shown to be safe for use in ferrets. In the United States, the implant contains 4.7 mg of deslorelin acetate. Published studies have shown the implant to be safe in ferrets with appropriate clinical monitoring. Some treated ferrets may have swelling at the implantation site, which should resolve in 1-2 weeks. Other reported side effects include: weight gain, lethargy, and failure to respond to therapy. Blood tests were shown to be within the normal range after treatment. The safety profile, coupled with the effectiveness of SOPRELORIN F Implant, should offer all ferret owners peace of mind.
The SUPRELORIN F Implant is easy for veterinarians to implant – and requires a single implant. It is just like placing a microchip under the skin of your pet. Appropriate endocrine testing and clinical monitoring should be used to assess the response of ferrets to the therapy. Follow-up visits to monitor therapeutic response will likely be scheduled by your veterinarian.
The exciting news is the SUPRELORIN F Implant is now available at Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center. Call to set up an appointment to start your ferret back on the road to good health. If you would like more details, feel free to call us at 847-647-9325 or through our website emails or Q & A feature.
Note: The above discussion was based on information from the Virbac Ferrets USA Website (www.virbacferretsusa.com)