Rationale: Deslorelin (Suprelorin®; Virbac) is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist licensed in select countries for the long-term suppression of fertility in adult male dogs and male ferrets. This article summarizes studies investigating the use of deslorelin implants for the long-term suppression of fertility in male and female domestic cats.
Evidence base: Slow-release deslorelin implants have been shown to generate effective, safe and reversible long-term contraception in male and female cats. In pubertal cats, a 4.7 mg deslorelin implant suppressed steroid sex hormones for an average of approximately 20 months (range 15-25 months) in males and an average of approximately 24 months (range 16-37 months) in females. Reversibility has been demonstrated by fertile matings approximately 2 years post-treatment in both male and female adult cats. In prepubertal female cats of approximately 4 months of age, puberty was postponed to an average of approximately 10 months of age (range 6-15 months) by a 4.7 mg deslorelin implant.
Challenges: The large variability in the duration of suppression of gonadal activity makes the definition of the optimal time for reimplantation quite challenging. In addition, the temporary stimulation phase occurring in the weeks following deslorelin implantation can induce in adult female cats a fertile estrus that needs to be managed to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Longer duration and larger scale controlled field studies implementing blinding, a negative control group and a carefully controlled randomization to each group are needed. Furthermore, the effects of repeated treatment need to be investigated. Finally, the effect of treatment on growth and bone quality of prepubertal cats needs to be assessed. However, the ease of use, long-lasting effects and reversibility of deslorelin implants are strong positive points supporting their use for controlling feline reproduction.
© The Author(s) 2015.