Objective—To evaluate the clinical and endocrine
responses of ferrets with adrenocortical disease
(ACD) to treatment with a slow-release implant of
Animals—15 ferrets with ACD.
Procedure—Ferrets were treated SC with a single
slow-release, 3-mg implant of deslorelin acetate.
Plasma 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
measured and affected glands that
were surgically removed were examined histologically.
Results—Compared with findings before deslorelin
treatment, vulvar swelling, pruritus, sexual behaviors,
and aggression were significantly decreased or eliminated
within 14 days of implantation; hair regrowth
was evident 4 to 6 weeks after treatment. Within 1
month of treatment, plasma hormone concentrations
significantly decreased and remained decreased until
clinical relapse. Mean time to recurrence of clinical
signs was 13.7 ± 3.5 months (range, 8.5 to 20.5
months). In 5 ferrets, large palpable tumors developed
within 2 months of clinical relapse; 3 of these
ferrets were euthanatized because of adrenal gland
tumor metastasis to the liver or tumor necrosis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In ferrets with
ACD, a slow-release deslorelin implant appears
promising as a treatment to temporarily eliminate clinical
signs and decrease plasma steroid hormone concentrations.
Deslorelin may not decrease adrenal
tumor growth in some treated ferrets. Deslorelin
implants may be useful in the long-term management
of hormone-induced sequelae in ferrets with ACD and
in treatment of animals that are considered at surgical
or anesthetic risk. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:910–914)