Deslorelin (Suprelorin, Virbac), also commonly referred to as a 'hormone implant' is a subcutaneous implant used 'off label' in birds. The implant contains deslorelin, a gonadotropine-releasing hormone (GnRH) drug. The drug is formulated in an implant that is designed to remain in place underneath the bird’s skin. After implantation, it softens and flattens. The implant comes pre-packed in a single-dose sterile syringe and needle. There are two versions, containing either 4.7 or 9.4 mg of deslorelin. After the implant is inserted, the drug is released slowly and continuously at low doses over time.
Hormone implants are a form of medical therapy used to decrease reproductive activity in female birds. It consists of periodic hormone implants or injections that are intended to alter the reproductive cycle of the bird. Over time, hormone implants may start to become less effective on birds that receive treatment, causing them to require more frequent dosing and to use higher dosages in order to get the same effect.
How Hormone Implants Work
Deslorelin controls the secretion of other hormones involved in egg production. Suprelorin is given as an implant that slowly releases a continuous low dose of deslorelin. This suppresses (blocks) the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
: Deslorelin (Suprelorin, Virbac) is a prescription drug and is available only through veterinarians. In the United States, it is only approved by the FDA for use in ferrets. In Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union, it is only approved for use in ferrets and dogs. However, there have been numerous research studies conducted on birds, especially egg laying hens which demonstrate the effectiveness of the drug and minimal side effects.
- When does the implant start to work? It may take up to 14 days for the bird to stop laying eggs after the implant is administered.
- How long do the affects last? The effect lasts for a minimum of four to 8 months, depending on the size of the implant (4.7 vs. 9.4 mg).