Objective: To evaluate the effects of 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implants on egg production and plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and androstenedione in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) over 180 days and assess safety of the implants in quail via gross and histologic examination.
Animals: 20 female Japanese quail.
Procedures: Following a 7-day period of consistent egg laying, quail were anesthetized and received a 4.7-mg deslorelin implant (treatment group; n = 10) or identical placebo implant (control group; 10) SC between the scapulae. Egg production was monitored daily. Plasma concentrations of 17β-estradiol and androstenedione were measured on days 0 (immediately prior to implant injection), 14, 29, 62, 90, 120, 150, and 180 via radioimmunoassay. Birds were weighed periodically and euthanized at day 180 for complete necropsy.
Results: Egg production was significantly decreased in the treatment group, compared with the control group, from 2 to 12 weeks after implant injection. Egg production ceased in 6 of 10 quail in the treatment group (mean duration of cessation, 70 days). Plasma androstenedione and 17β -estradiol concentrations were significantly lower on day 29 in the treatment group than in the control group. On day 180, 17β -estradiol concentration was lower in control than in treated birds.No clinically relevant lesions were detected in either group at necropsy [corrected].
Conclusions and clinical relevance: 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate implants reversibly decreased egg laying for approximately 70 days in most of the Japanese quail evaluated. Further studies evaluating implants containing different concentrations of the drug are needed in quail and other avian species.