Adrenal Gland Disease In Ferrets: Suprelorin Ferret Implant Cost

Adrenal Gland Disease is common in ferrets. It develops in adult ferrets and the ones that have already been neutered are a higher risk. The good news is that there are many medical options to treat this disease.

In particular, the suprelorin ferret implant is one of the most popular options to not only treat but also to prevent the disease. The suprelorin ferret cost can be high but it’s extremely effective.

Cause Of Adrenal Gland Disease

Adrenal Gland Disease is common in ferrets. In most cases it affects ferrets 3 to 7 years of age and the ones that are neutered are higher risk.

The adrenal gland’s role in a healthy ferret is to manage different functions in the body such as water and electrolyte balance.

Furthermore, research has shown that adrenal gland disease occurs as a result of neutering. Some of the causes for this disease are the following:

  • Overproduction of hormones that stimulates the adrenal gland and as a result cells change and tumours start forming
  • Overgrowth of the adrenal gland also known as hyperplasia. In some cases, you might be able to see the tumours on the ferret’s body. Those tumours can active or benign
  • In rare cases, metastasis of adrenal tumours can occur. Some of the adrenal tumours can grown on the internal organs that are near the tumour’s original location.

Without a doubt, you might wonder why ferrets are neutered in the first place. Even though, neutering can lead to health problems such as adrenal gland disease, not neutering can lead to different health problems.

In addition to that, it’s widely believed that neutered ferrets make for friendlier and even better smelling pets.

Symptoms Of Adrenal Gland Disease In Ferrets

The most obvious symptom is symmetrical loss of hair around the tail and toward the neck. Some other symptoms include:

  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Changes in behaviour such as aggression
  • Female ferrets can seem as if they are in heat as well as enlarged genitals
  • Male ferrets can be observed to have difficulty peeing as a result of prostatic enlargement and inflammation.
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Increased smell
  • Changes in the color of the fur coat
  • Loss of muscle

Diagnosis Of Adrenal Gland Disease In Ferrets

Although adrenal gland disease might be suspected in the ferret, it can only be fully diagnosed on a blood hormone analysis which will indicate which hormones, if any, are elevated.

Another way to diagnose the disease is through an ultrasound. Furthermore, this method would help to assess which gland is affected before any medical decision has been made. In addition, chest x-rays are also recommended.

Treatment Of Adrenal Gland Disease In Ferrets

Even though, it can be heart breaking to watch your ferret go through this, there are good news. Not only this disease is treatable and there are many options available, it is also preventable. Some of those treatments are the following:

Medical Therapies

Medical therapies will focus on fixing the symptoms such as hair loss and skin problems but none of these treatments would eliminate the cause. The purpose of the medical therapies is to supress the production of the hormones that are stimulating the adrenal gland disease.

Lupron Injections

One of the drugs used as treatment is called Lupron and is given in the form of a monthly injection. The treatment usually lasts average of 3 months until symptoms disappear and then it’s restarted once the symptoms reappear. The cost of Lupron is $80 a month.

Suprelorin Ferret Implant Cost

The most popular option is the Suprelotin ferret implant. Its job is to reduce the production of the hormones stimulating the disease. It comes in the form of a small pallet the size of a grain, it’s injected under the skin of the ferret and it takes under 1 minute to be inserted.

Once injected, the drug starts slowly releasing into the ferret’s body and you’ll be able to see the full effect after the 6th week. By that time, any hair lost should have grown back.

Unquestionably, the main reason why people go for this option is that the effect lasts 8 – 18 months depending on the strength of the implant used.

The implant doesn’t require to be removed as it’s absorbed by the body. The negative is that your ferret might need to be under short general anaesthesia due to the size of the needle. Prior any anaesthetic, ferrets should be starved for minimum of 4 hours.

The Suprelotin ferret implant cost can vary. For this reason, it’s important to shop around and not accept the price your vet quotes in panic as it might be as high as $400.

The implant can be found for prices as low as $100-£250 and you can get it shipped from Australia. Whilst waiting for the shipment, you can request your vet administers shots of Lupron in the meantime.

Tip: Most universities will have vet collages and they should have it on hand or be able to supply it for as cheap as $150.

Surgical Removal

There are a few surgical methods that can be used.

  • Tradition resection. Traditional approach can be risky as the gland lies in proximity to a major blood vessel. Overall, surgery is risky and can result in complications
  • Cryosurgery which is freezing the tissue with liquid nitrogen to destroy the abnormal adrenal growth

Overall, most ferrets will do very well for years with hormone therapy as a treatment of adrenal gland disease. In rare cases, ferrets can build resistance and it might stop working. In those cases, surgery will be the only option left.

Prevention Of Adrenal Gland Disease In Ferrets

As a rule, the best medical treatment is prevention. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to prevent adrenal gland disease in ferrets.

Not only the Suprelorin ferret implant can be used as a preventive measure against adrenal gland disease but it can also be used to chemically neuter your ferret.

Unlike the traditional physical neutering that can cause health problems in the long run, the suprelorin ferret implant don’t cause health problems and suppresses the production of sex hormones that occurs during the ferret’s natural breeding period.

Summary

Above all, we need to understand that each ferret is different and will require different medical approach.

  • Extensive blood tests must be completed to diagnose adrenal gland disease
  • All medical treatments must be discussed with your vet
  • Two most popular hormonal therapies are Lupron and Suprelotin ferret implant
  • Suprelotin ferret implant lasts 8-20 months
  • Suprelotin ferret implant can be used as a prevention and instead of physical neutering of the ferret
  • Most ferrets can live for years with adrenal gland disease

Read about what other disease ferrets can get here What Diseases Do Ferrets Get And How To Prevent Them

You may also like...