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Clinical and endocrine responses to treatment with deslorelin acetate implants in ferrets with adrenocortical disease

Robert A. Wagner VMD1, Claude A. Piché DVM, MSc2, Wolfgang Jöchle DVM, Dr Med Vet3, and Jack W. Oliver DVM, PhD4
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  • 1 Division of Laboratory Animal Resources, 3500 Terrace St, S1049 BST, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
  • | 2 PR Pharmaceuticals Inc, 1716 Heath Pkwy, Fort Collins, CO 80524.
  • | 3 45 Sugar Hill Rd, Manahawkin, NJ 08050.
  • | 4 Department of Comparative Medicine (Clinical Endocrinology Service), College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the clinical and endocrine responses of ferrets with adrenocortical disease (ACD) to treatment with a slow-release implant of deslorelin acetate.

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)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the clinical and endocrine responses of ferrets with adrenocortical disease (ACD) to treatment with a slow-release implant of deslorelin acetate.

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)