Ferrets seem to get adrenal disease more often then any of the other ferret diseases out there. Until recently deslorelin acetate was not legally available in the United States but Virbac Animal Health changed that in 2012. Many other countries had been using the Suprelorin F implant for quite some time with excellent results in managing ferret adrenal disease. Now that the U.S. has this resource some people are calling it a game changer for adrenal disease management.
What is Suprelorin F?
Deslorelin acetate implants are known under the trade name Suprelorin F through Virbac Animal Health. They are long lasting implants that are injected directly under your ferret's skin using a large gauge needle. These implants will last between nine and twelve months and then a new implant is needed.
Similar to Lupron (leuprolide acetate depot injections), Suprelorin F treats and manages hyperadrenocorticism (adrenal disease) in ferrets by suppressing the overactive adrenal gland. It does not cure the disease but it does treat and manage the symptoms of adrenal disease, some of which can be life threatening.
How Does Deslorelin Work?
The implant slowly releases the drug into your ferret's body which in return causes the overactive adrenal gland to slow down.
Can I Inject the Implant Myself?
The implant is a prescription drug and can only be obtained through your exotics vet. If your vet does not carry the implant have them contact Virbac Animal Health. If you try to order the implants yourself your credit card will be charged, you will not receive the implants, and you will have to contact Virbac to apply for a refund.
Many veterinarians will give the implant with the ferret awake but others prefer to sedate the ferrets with gas anesthesia prior to injection. The needle is large and painful to many ferrets and the restraint can cause stress, especially to smaller or sensitive ferrets. Sometimes surgical glue is needed to close up the hole the large needle leaves behind but no surgery is necessary to place the deslorelin acetate implant.
Is Deslorelin Expensive?
Compared to long term Lupron (leuprolide acetate depot suspension) injections, deslorelin is much more affordable. Surgery is still your best option for most ferrets with adrenal disease but deslorelin implants are quickly becoming the treatment of choice for owners who opt not to have surgery performed.
You should expect each implant to cost a few hundred dollars and you should be able to call your exotics vet for an exact price quote