Objective—To determine the effects of leuprolide
acetate, a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone
analog, in ferrets with adrenocortical diseases.
Animals—20 ferrets with adrenocortical disease
diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs and plasma
sex hormone concentrations.
Procedure—Ferrets were treated with leuprolide
(100 µg, IM, once), and plasma hormone concentrations
were measured before and 3 to 6 weeks after
Results—Leuprolide treatment resulted in significant
reductions in plasma estradiol, 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone,
androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone
concentrations and eliminated or reduced clinical
signs associated with adrenocortical disease.
Decreases in vulvar swelling, pruritus, and undesirable
sexual behaviors and aggression were evident 14
days after treatment; hair regrowth was evident by 4
weeks after treatment. The response to treatment
was transitory, and clinical signs recurred in all ferrets.
Mean ± SEM time to recurrence was 3.7 ± 0.4
months (range, 1.5 to 8 months).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that leuprolide can be safely used to temporarily
eliminate clinical signs and reduce sex hormone concentrations
in ferrets with adrenocortical diseases.
However, the safety of long-term leuprolide use in ferrets
has not been investigated, and the long-term
effects of leuprolide in ferrets with nodular adrenal
gland hyperplasia or adrenal gland tumors are
unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1272–1274)