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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth M. Bailey x
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Objective—To determine the effects of leuprolide acetate, a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog, in ferrets with adrenocortical diseases.

Design—Case series.

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 treatment.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association