Home » Trying Out Deslorelin

Trying Out Deslorelin

On Friday, my sweet Tankman got his first Deslorelin implant in order to treat his adrenal gland disease. I’m hoping to see longer-lasting results than he would get with Lupron, and because Lupron can be extremely expensive here ($175/month,) Deslorelin is already a cheaper option, even if it only gives him relief on the short-end of the 6-18 months it’s been known to last.

Before Tank, my sweet Pilot was adrenal, and we used a combination of melatonin implants and oral pre- and post- operation. She also had a left adrenalectomy. She came through surgery beautifully and healed up quickly, and the effects of her adrenal gland disease disappeared for about a year. But they did begin showing up again, and by that time, she was elderly and losing most of her faculties as it was, so we opted to keep her comfortable with melatonin. However, I don’t think I’ll ever do surgery on an adrenal ferret ever again, simply knowing the difficulty of removing the right adrenal gland being as it is, and how many ferrets develop symptoms again. The surgery itself did seem to change Pilot’s overall wellness, and though she healed up quickly and easily, her personality was forever different. Whether this was the fault of the surgery, the adrenal gland disease itself, or something else entirely,  I can’t know for sure. All I know is that the playful, goofy, happy-go-lucky girl I knew was less sociable, seemed less interested in toys and games, and was no longer the bouncy, silly girl she had been. Pilot ultimately was helped to the bridge in February of 2011 after experiencing a seizure or stroke that left her immobilized, in pain, and barely responsive. I don’t believe the incident to be related in any way to her adrenal gland disease.

Besides being expensive ($700+), surgery seemed to be an even more temporary fix, and when Pilot’s right gland became diseased, it affected her far more severely than before. At the time, Lupron and Deslorelin were completely unavailable in my region of the country, and though I did consult with some veterinarians in Pennsylvania about possibly treating her, it didn’t end up following through simply because my travel plans were sporadic.

Melatonin helped her regrow her fur and put on healthy weight pre-op, as well as keep that weight post-op, but again, it did not really treat the disease at its core. However, the melatonin implants were cheap, and readily available. The options at that time in my ferrenthood were extremely limited, so that seemed like the most beneficial and appropriate path. But with the options I now have, surgery and melatonin aren’t even on my radar anymore.

What treatments have you used for adrenal gland disease? What worked the best? What didn’t work or what would you not choose to do again? It is interesting to me to see the variances in availability of some products and treatments, and the trends between regions.

11 Responses to “Trying Out Deslorelin”

  1. lesbubbly says:

    I’ve used Desoloram on two of our ferrets and the adrenal side effects subsided quite rapidly. That was 6 and 10 months ago. We have had around 20 ferrets since 2004-2005ish with adrenals! Most of them had surgery and yes they were never quite the same,but we are open to all options! So I say wise choice.

  2. Melissa M. Northup says:

    I went through the same thing with my 1st albino male ferret Piggy, He went thru exactly the same thing your describing with Pilot…the adrenal disease, having one removed via a vet I worked with at the time as a Veterinary Technician, I was lucky I had a very great surgeon do the surgery and for only 200 bucks do to me working where I did. He responded well and the surgery bought him about a year and then the seizures came, they would get more frequent and he had a severe one and was not right after that and I had to euthanize him at home myself…that was the hardest decision I ever had to make but it had to be done, I can assure you I would never do that again….I don’t think there is any cure for the disease and any treatment only buys them a certain amount of time…In my opinion I think they really need to look into doing a study to see if most of these diseases are due to the early altering of baby ferrets on ferret farms…

    • Melissa M. Northup says:

      I forgot to mention that I did try a treatment of Diazoxide, which had to be compounded in a liquid form and it was very expensive, I don’t recall seeing any benifits from it…if anything the surgery was the only fix at the time and like I said earlier it only bought him about a year till the symptoms started.

      • It sounds like your ferret was possibly also suffering from insulinoma, another common endocrine issue in ferrets. Insulinomas are tiny tumors on the pancreas that overexcrete insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to crash, which can cause seizures and other issues. Diazoxide is commonly prescribed to treat insulinoma once prednisone alone does not help keep blood sugar levels stable. Diazoxide will do nothing to aid in the treatment of adrenal gland disease, though.

        I sometimes wonder if my Pilot seized because of a blood sugar issue, but at the time of surgery, our vet looked her pancreas over and remarked at how beautiful and insulinoma-free it was. Pilot, along with all my ferrets, are fed a raw diet and therefor are at a much lower risk for the illness. I was unfortunately not home when it happened, and by the time I got home and rushed her to an e-clinic, I didn’t want to put her through any diagnostics simply because she was ready to pass. I suspect stroke over seizure, but again, there is no way to know and no dedfinitely answer. She may indeed have suffered a seizure due to a blood sugar crash, despite never showing signs or symptoms beforehand.

  3. Connie Harter says:

    Good Luck to Tankman!!

  4. Melissa M. Northup says:

    Honestly it was sooo long ago so yes I think Piggy also suffered from Insulinoma…he had adrenal disease and Insulinoma…he had the surgery for the adrenal disease and was treated with diazoxide when exhibiting signs of the disease…I was not going to have him go thru yet another surgery…I do remember them doing an ultrasound and finding something else…the problem with all these ferret diseases it they all have alot of the same signs so sometimes its really hard to pinpoint which disease they have…and none of them can be beat unfortunately. Good luck : )

  5. Kevin Cormack says:

    Max Ferret lived near Hartford, CT and had adrenal disease and insulinoma for the last year of his life. He survived a bout of Green Slime as a kit and a somewhat unsettled GI tract the rest of his life. Despite the GI issues, the insulinoma and the adrenal disease, he made it to a month past 7 years, the longest of any ferret who lived with us. His vet offered surgery, melatonin and Lupron. We chose Lupron because the vet suggested it was the option most likely to work. The local shelter, with the same vet, often goes the melatonin route. Max was supported for his insulinoma with prednisone. He survived over 8 months after being diagnosed and only had quality-of-life issues in the last week of his life, most likely GI-related. I found the hardest problem with Lupron was waiting for it to work initially. Max loved having his fur back and seemed to revel in it once it returned.

    • i do like Lupron a lot, and for those whose vets have it in stock regularly, it’s a great, easy, treatment method! Unfortunately costwise for me, since my vet doesn’t have a need to stock it, we chose the Deslorelin route. It was affordable and promises to help for quite a while. Tank’s had his implant for about two weeks now and has stopped with the aggressive sexual behavior associated with adrenal gland disease. So far no fur regrowth, but I expect to see the starts of that in several weeks. Thanks for your input and for reading!

  6. […] adrenal boy, Tank, recently got a Deslorelin implant (read more here and here. Read about Deslorelin here.) He has been feeling much better, more playful, better appetite, and […]

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