So I have heard of this before but want some input on preventative Lupron shots. I read about it when I first got Koda and was going to ask my vet - but she mentioned it first! Lol I opted to wait on Koda until his first year, and now it's that time! I actually got a reminder letter in the mail from the vet. I am thinking about getting it done for Koda. Should I do Kenai as well since he's a MF baby? I was going to wait a year for him like I did with Koda. Anyways, as far as Koda goes what do you all know about preventative Lupron (I think it is Lupron?) shots to prevent/postpone adrenal disease? Will this lead to a resistance so that if they DO become adrenal then Lupron won't work and they'll need more powerful drugs? Do you think it could help? What are the benefits and risks?
Katt - I haven't read anything about using Lupron as a preventative. I have read about using the deslorelin implant as a preventative and plan to have Brady done in the next few months. Jack is already atleast 3, so my vet wants to not do him until he actually shows symptoms.
It appears that the des implant has become vogue. I don't know. I use it as it's necessary. They've all been about prevention but none of it works because it only masks the symptoms. The des might actually be the closest solution that I've investigated so far as it stops the hormone triggers. Lupron like melatonin doesn't stop it from happening, it slows or postpones it from happening. My concern is that if you use this, in this manner you've used up one tool of your arsenal to combat this disease when you finally face it. Pooka was diagnosed over 2 years ago. We spent almost a year on melatonin, then that didn't work any more and we moved on to lupron. The lupron still works but it's not effective at keeping her comfortable so I'm going to give her a des shot tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed that it hasn't become some form of cancer (none of this works against malignant tumours). Captain Jack and Sprite had their des implants last week and are responding favourably. Their coats are softer and Jack actually appears to have fuzz growing on the tops of his feet (the only real place that he was naked). I'm hoping that sometime during the next few weeks he will stop his "urges" and he will go back to just having fun ciao
Post by goingpostal on Feb 7, 2011 18:11:51 GMT -5
Now if you read Bob Churchs articles he's said none of the hormonal treatments are really proven to do anything but mask symptoms, that ferrets generally live the same amount of time regardless of treatment/no treatment. Now I don't know if that's true, I know there's people on here who have ferrets on lupron or des going on a couple years successfully. Either way I would do treatment simply because it seems to make life more normal/comfortable for the ferret, even if it's not slowing the disease. But I wouldn't do preventative hormones, just because it doesn't seem like there's any evidence it will help and like heather said you might be losing the ability to use them later down the line.
If you wish to do preventive treatment for adrenals, I strongly recommend the use of Deslorelin over Lupron. The reason for this is rather simple....
with preventive Lupron, you will most likely medicate for a period of 3 4 months. If the medication is giving at the correct time (which presumably varies by latitude and individual animal, the 3-4 month treatment may suppress hormone levels depending upon how responsive your ferret is to the leuprolide acetate. However, if you miss the correct window of opportunity for administration of the medication for your ferret's individual needs, the treatment may be largely ineffective. PLEASE keep in mind that if monthly shots are given ( which are more effective that the 3-4 month depot), you must follow trough with a series of at least 3 (and preferably 4 shots because use of lupron for less than 3 moths commonly results in a very large surge of hormonal activity that is worse than giving no lupron at all.
In contrast, the Deslorelin seems work work for 6-12 months on most ferrets. This means you can give start the Des early and you'll most likely cover the hormonal spike for both males and females. The assumption here is that with a non-diseased ferret, the injection will last a year.
With lupron, the alternative would be to give the monthly lupron throughout the year (or for at east 6 months.
I did the lupron preventive treatments, and I found the following: 1. I used the lupron depot (which is NOT as good as monthly) to keep cost down. 2. All 4 of my ferrets have gotten subcutaneous/muscular reactions at the injection site whether or not the injection was given IM or subcutaneously 3. 3 of my ferrets are confirmed adrenal at age 6. 1 has not yet been tested (he is 4.5 and presumably adrenal 4. Lupron either never worked on my ferrets, or my ferrets become refractory to the drug (the last injections did NOTHING to quiesce adrenal behavior.
Things to consider: 1. administering preventive injections may or may not help with development of adrenal disease even if medication is provided year round 2. While medication be effective at preventing adrenal disease, ferrets may become refratory to the drug over time such that the disease may be simply develop later in life when surgery is not an option and the drug no longer works. 3. A common theory (and probable misconception) is that the only time lupron and/or deslorelin tops working is when the tumor becomes cancerous and is no longer under control of the pituitary gland. Neither of my girls were responding to lupron at all when they had adrenalctomies, and both were found to have mil cases of adrenal disease (no adenoma or carcinoma). My vet speculates that they developed immunity to the lupron (strong immune systems.) 4. Miconception: ferrets reach puberty at nine months to one year of age. This is incrrect as jills born in late fall (sept/oct) have been known to come into full estrous the following Jan-Feb. time frame. This is not a female -only phenomenon - its just that it's very easy to tell when a jill comes into full season. 5. Deslorelin may be effective for only 6 moths in some ferrets, which suggets that implanting Des may provide optimal cereage of the Spring hormonal surge if administered late november/earlt december for males (early december for females.
Sooooo....what to do??? The choice is not at all clear cut. I would probably consider the following and discuss this will my vet before proceding....administer at least 3-4 month coverage with Lupron and begin the desloerlin in late November/early December time frame IF my vet feels that this is the thing to do.
Of course, my success rate with prevent adrenal (in spite of late alter and preventive lupron) is 0% (Unless Shaman proves me incorrect - he has not yet been tested, but I've seen "adrenal behavior). HOWEVER, I will say the my 3 confirmed cases are 6 years old, they are free of the common adrenal symptoms and therefore would be misdiagnosed by a trip to the vet. They are very active and healthy with only mild adrenal disease at 6 years old. (No complaints here)
Yes, ferrets are science experiments when it comes to adrenal disease
My 2 girls are the same age. They were spayed 2 weeks into their first estrus (10 moths for one ferrt 11 months for the other. Both showed "hyper behavior" in late winter/early spring of their fourth year. Both were confirmed as minor/pre-adrenal at age 4. I treated the girls for 6 months with lupron and re-tested them after 6 months (low hormone time of year). The girls' blood work fell within non-adrenal reange in the fall. We do not know if the Lupron was working or if the girls were both so marginally out of range to begin with that the homone levels would have fallen back into normal range without the lupron shot. (And yes, my girls did receive preventive late winter/ealy spring lupron shots at 2 and 3 years of age).
Tonto was neutered at 2+ years of age. He has not really exhibited any adrenal behavior without prompting from siblings. (i.e., if he gets his ears licked, he will sometimes reciprocate) He's 6 years old, and I tested him because of his age. He confirmed as minor adrenal last week. He was on preventive lupron after being neutered.
Shaman is about 4.5 years, neutered at 1+ years of age. Has not yet exhibited adrenal behavior, although I have seen him "butt-sniffing". Has not yet been tested for adrenal.
All 4 were given deslorelin implants in the Fall. Both girls responded to the Des. The boys were responding in that they were "low energy" a couple of weeks after the Des. was given.
I have noticed that some break-through with the des. implants. This has seemed consistent throught the use of the implant. For the girls, the break-through is reflected in a day of hyper behavior that's apparent for only a day, and then it subsides. The boys may get caught butt-sniffing or reciprocating with grooming.
One thing I don't know for sure is whether or not a spike out of range truly confirms adrenal this time of year. I have decided to re-implant now (6 months) since the girls are a bit hyper/over-grooming.
I may also be adding melatonin to the mix for the girls. I need to get all my records from my now-retired ferret vet and take everything ad make a trip to CSU with all 4 brats to see if they have any opinions on how to best deal with all this. I probably won't get much out of this other than a big vet bill, but if I can learn even one thing, it will be worth it.