Suprelorin F® (Deslorelin Acetate) Implants

Uses of Suprelorin® F (deslorelin acetate)

We often refer to the use of an implant. The implant in question is sold under the name brand of Suprelorin® F and the component that make it work is deslorelin acetate (commonly referred to as “Des”). It has several uses and oftentimes owners and even vets may get them confused:

  1. For treatment of Adrenal disease: the implant must be renewed every 6 months for it to work properly and stop the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to start seeing resolution of adrenal symptoms such as hair loss, fatigue, and muscular wasting.
  2. As a prevention for adrenal disease: The ferret must be implanted within the first year of the surgical castration. It must be renewed every year. This is not an option it has nothing to do with when it wears off, this has to do with making sure the hormones stop and do not recur.
  3. As a form of chemical castration: This may be used on both hobs and jills but was only tested on hobs. This may be introduced at any time to end a ferret in season. It is generally thought to be best introduced after the ferrets 9th month to allow full physical or as close to full physical growth as possible. This may be renewed as the ferret starts to show signs of coming back into rut or estrus.
Suprelorin F (deslorelin acetate) packaging with insertion device and 11-gauge needle.
Suprelorin F (deslorelin acetate) 4.7mg implant packaging.
Suprelorin F (deslorelin acetate) 4.7mg implant needle (11 gauge).

Ordering Suprelorin® F (deslorelin acetate) in Canada

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR CANADIAN FERRET OWNERS!! 

As many of you know vets in Canada have been unable to order the Suprelorin® F (deslorelin acetate) implant from Virbac in the U.S. After some digging we determined that this is because Virbac now only sells through pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S. and no longer sells it directly from their website. This is a problem for those of us in Canada because of the difference in drug prices between Canada and the U.S. and the resulting laws pertaining to U.S. vs Canadian pharmaceutical distributors. At this time Virbac doesn’t seem to be interested in working with Health Canada or Canadian distributors (I could be wrong about that but that was the impression I got over the last few weeks of dealing with Virbac U.S.).

Due to some fantastic work by Lisa Miodragovic those of us in Canada now have a source for our vets to order the implant again. They still need the standard Emergency Release form that is needed when ordering from the U.S. but now they will be ordering from a pharmaceutical exporter out of Australia (where the implant is manufactured) that has an export / import license with Canada (the company is called Provet). Unfortunately, since the implants will be coming from Australia, we may see a price increase passed onto us by our Vets since the shipping may be more coming from Australia (thankfully the Australia dollar is more in line with the Canadian dollar vs. U.S. so the actual price may be lower).

THIS DOCUMENT outlines the ordering process your vet will have to follow when ordering from Provet.

Placing the Implant

Many vets prefer to sedate ferrets to do the implant insertion. However, with few exceptions, sedation is generally not necessary. The insertion needle is a similar size to that used for microchips. The actual insertion of the implant takes a few seconds, and can typically be done before the ferret even notices what is happening. Some owners and rescues have even done the implants themselves (NOTE: we do not recommend this unless you have specifically been instructed to do so by your veterinarian, and know proper technique!!) With good restraint and distraction (salmon oil makes a great distraction treat), the implant can be placed quickly and smoothly without sedation. However, some ferrets do not tolerate restraint, and some vets are simply not willing to place the implant without sedation/anesthesia. Please discuss the pros/cons with your vet so that you can decide on the best approach for your individual ferret. Below are some videos demonstrating how the implant is placed.

Implant placement WITH anesthesia (video below):