I have not yet adopted my ferret, but I've been doing a lot of reading about ferret diseases and learning about the big 3.
Since I've been considering getting a ferret from a breeder, I am considering getting both a des and Melatonin implant at the time of desexing in order to prevent adrenal disease by "nipping it in the bud" so to say.
I see the last messages on this board are several years old. I was hoping there might be additional information on the topic. I've seen both arguments for and against it.
What are everyone's thoughts/experiences with using these treatments in combination as prevention?
The so called "in" for desexing is to surgically castrate and then use the DES as a preventative. Melatonin has no purpose in prevention, it doesn't work. It works with the DES when used to fight adrenal (it helps with skin and coat, not much more). If you surgically castrate you only need implant with the DES. Many vets in the EU and UK are no longer even surgically castrating, they're just using the DES and reimplanting either annually or when the ferret comes back in. If you're going to buy from a breeder you're going to have to find out what your contract entails. Some do not allow for chemical castrations. I know of a couple who do not want you to use the DES at all, so make sure your thoughts are in line with the breeder's. There is nothing like being all hyped about your upcoming kit only to be blindsided by your contract. You will have to honour your contract. These are questions you need to discuss with your breeder. ciao
We've only just started using des as a preventive in the last 18 mo, on ferrets that were 3 years old at the time. we aren't rich so we plan to push the outside of the envelope and go every 15 months. As a treatment, I can say that it may take a couple shed cycles to see fur regrowth without melatonin. That's as long as we've had an implanted ferret make it before dying of something else.