Hi, I have some questions on Adrenal Disease and treatment options. I don't have a ferret yet, but I want my future ferret to be as healthy as possible. I don't know if I should get a female or a male. I don't want to alter the ferret if I don't need to so I can prevent the chances of adrenal. Is this possible in ferrets and is it risky? I'd also like to know if it's ok to use des at an early age to prevent adrenal from happening. Thanks!
Hi there. It's good that you are doing research before having a ferret in your life.
Fist, although late -altering or leaving the ferret intact might prevent or delay onset of adrenal disease, it's really no guarantee. Our one intact hob came from a breeder in Ontario. We waited until he was over 9 months old to neuter him (left scent glands intact, phew) and he still managed to get all of the Big 3 before he was 6. Both his adrenal and lymphoma were aggressive and he was gone in 6 months. I know several former ferrents who got ferrets from reputable breeders who lost them at young ages (3-4 years)
That said, deslorelin acetate is used to prevent adrenal. It has worked for us when we've used it. I used to have a file of a study by Drs. Miller, Wagner, et al, (2013) who were researching this very subject.
The 4.7 mg implant is given annually prophylacticly and every 6-8 months as treatment. There was also a study using the 9.4 mg implant, but I don't remember the names of the authors.
I also have to mention that unaltered females are a separate challenge. They WILL go into heat and will not come out without a "jill jab" hormone cocktail injection. The injection is mandatory, or you risk the jill's life.
There is no way to predict or prevent lymphoma. There are 2 "forms" of the disease. The aggressive one is often referred to as "juvenile lymphoma," and prognosis is often less than 6 months. I have had 2 cases of the less aggressive kind, and both lasted less the 15 months being treated with prednisone.
Last Edit: Apr 7, 2021 13:56:57 GMT -5 by unclejoe
Post by abbeytheferret6 on Apr 8, 2021 14:28:25 GMT -5
Here is how serious it is for unsterilized female ferrets to not be mated with a vasectomized male or an intact male or given a jill jab.
Aplastic anemia in unsterilized female ferrets (jills) refers to bone marrow suppression, resulting in a complete loss of red blood cells in the bone marrow. If a jill comes into heat, she will stay in heat indefinitely and during this period, her estrogen levels will remain high and be very toxic to her bone marrow.
Post by Sherry Stone on Apr 8, 2021 18:39:56 GMT -5
Keep in mind any altered ferret will develop adrenal disease within 4 or 5 years of neutering. Better bet would be to chemically castrate with deslorelin one they come into season. If you do choose to surgical castrate, then do the implant yearly regardless to help delay/prevent adrenal. The implant is used to chemically neuter both male and female. However it seems with the female it may have to be done yearly, while males often only have to be done every couple of years.
Owned by 2 kitties Oskar and Bastet. RIP Spunky, Mr. Stubbs, Ligiea, Herne, Watson. DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter, and lastly Contessa.
Hi, now I think I'm going to get a male (I was thinking about getting a female before). I think I'll either use deslorin every year or not neuter since that increases the chance of adrenal. I know they get stinky and aggressive if they're not neutered in rut, but I don't mind. I have a small puppy who play bites me a lot (he won't meet the ferret). Intact male ferrets can get very big, does des control this too? Thanks for the help