Suprelorin log

Beanwood

Administrator
Thought I would write a log detailing my personal experience with Suprelorin and Benson.

Benson had a week and a half ago. We were wanting to surgically castrate, however, due to work/holiday commitments we couldn't. We now feel that Benson at 19 months old is now sexually mature, so after lengthy discussions with our vet, we opted for Suprelorin. The main advantage over surgical castration is that it is reversible.

Suprelorin is an implant, (GnRH-agonist deslorelin). which works by initially stimulating testosterone causing a flood through the system in the first few weeks followed by production of testosterone being switched off. Sperm should be sterile after 6 weeks. Changes in behaviour, if notably affected by testosterone, are observed around this time.
There are two doses available 4.7mg and 9,4mg. 4.7mg is the most commonly used and is effective for around 6 months. 9.4mg is for a longer period 12months or more.

A good reference here: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB..._the_public/veterinary/000109/WC500068830.pdf

NOAH : http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/Virbac_Limited/Suprelorin_4_7_mg_implant_for_dogs/-48970.html

I haven't found much information regarding what the initial surge looks like, and sifting through the internet can be a minefield! It is certainly worth being aware of, although I appreciate each dog is different.

What we have seen so far: ( 13 days post implant)

1. Increased sniffing
2. Increased excitement - whining in anticipation of a walk.
3. Increased distraction to the point of impossible to train in areas where other dogs have been.
4. Increased marking (growling after marking)

The above are the reasons why we are considering castration anyway, they have just become intensified, and causing Benson some frustration. Luckily we are able to walk in our own fields where no other dogs have been, and then we have a completely different dog, relaxed and very focused. There are lots of distractions and scents...fox, deer and rabbit but no dog scent

I am wondering if the consequence of castrating some dogs during adolescence or before has more of an impact on behaviour than we realise, combined with inadequate training = badly behaved dog? We know there is a natural surge of testosterone during this period. Another thought is the castration itself, is this process managed as well as it could be in general? I have spoken to a behaviourist at length about this, how is the anaesthetic administered/can the owner be with the dog during the recovery period? Are they brought around too quickly? Just musings on my part, but I do hear a lot that the first significant signs of nervousness experienced by a dog were actually at the vets.

Benson has had some heart-stopping moments due to the fact he is entire..I wouldn't wish those on anyone. We haven't though experienced aggression from any dog towards him though,(castrated or not) and nor any aggression from Benson, he will grumble if another even attempts to mount him, and always the other dog backs off without a second warning, then play resumes
*Note: post-implant,( entire) we noted aggression towards Benson from castrated dogs. These were dogs previously where Benson had not experienced a problem

We want the best for Benson, so the log is a way to prospectively record how he is affected (or not) through the suprelorin implant. Not just from a behaviour perspective, not that we expect to see any day to day changes. From a physical perspective..how much have we had to adjust his food intake to maintain his current weight for example? Interestingly, during the testosterone surge, his weight has dropped slightly on the same quantity of feed..Exercise amounts have remained the same.

3-week update:

Finally, the testosterone surge is over. Benson is so much happier and maybe a more accurate description is more relaxed. No more intense sniffing, or being dragged around on the lead. He is also far more focused on training, which is a surprise.
Over the next few weeks, we should be seeing the same behaviour patterns associated with surgical castration. Still early days, the whole process takes between 40 and 60 days to see an effect from the chemical castration.

*Note: subsequent implant showed the surge lasted a bit longer.


4-week update:

Brief update: we certainly have a calmer dog. Sniffing as normal. Meaning the usual stop and sniff that I would expect, like the behaviour we see with Casper.
Focus and recall have improved. Now this could be just a coincidence, and things may change, it is still fairly early. Although the surge in testosterone was early and fairly dramatic.

What I didn't expect is the increased drive, around tennis balls, dummies etc...I really need to work on steadiness now, which I never imagined could ever be something I would have to consider. I throw a dummy, instead of sitting, bored waiting for me to coax a retrieve....he has gone racing after it! We are getting a nice, fast turnabout too, that could be due training or a combination of factors.... as he is staying closer I am not having to actually recall him as much as previously. In addition, I am being really selective about when I recall him, allowing him to choose to come back. If I think I will get a good, fast recall then I whistle and Benson gets a happy jackpot, plus a quick retrieve with a squeaky ball. Will have to mull over that one a bit. *Note: for sure training was much easier without the distraction of hormone-driven behaviours

He is also more affectionate, a pain really as he now insists on sitting on my lap!

Appearance and weight..in moult so hard to tell..weight as gone from 28.8 kg to 29.3 kg. He was weighed though after a swim, in a wet harness. He looks and feels right though, he was a shade on the light side when we weighed his last,(a month ago) considering his age, he probably easily get away with another .5kg or do without worrying.
*Note: There is definitely a difference in fur texture with superlorin, being slightly coarser, this may be more noticeable in dogs with a double coat. Suprelorin implant has agonistic activity on all testosterone, whereas surgical castration has an effect on the gonads, so surgical castration would leave around 10% circulating hormone. (very approximated!) Weight even on a reduction in diet, around 20 - 30%, hovers around 1.5kg above his cruising "entire" weight.

6-week update.

A key update as this is when we expect to see an improvement overall, that's if the original behaviours observed were influenced by testosterone.
So what have we observed?

Pre and immediately post-implant: (surge of testosterone due to implant) and at 6 weeks...


1. Increased sniffing - marked reduction in intensity
2. Increased excitement - whining in anticipation of a walk.,( probably due to a bitch in season )- normal excitement, levels, calm in the car
3. Increased distraction to the point of impossible to train in areas where other dogs have been. - no problem now, if anything an increase in trainability around other dogs
4. Increased marking (growling after marking) stopped completely. Still obviously stops to sniff and wee, but nothing like our previous experience of having one's arm pulled out of its socket!

Other observations:

Weight, exactly the same - around 28.8 kgs. Though being a young energetic dog wouldn't have really expected to see any change here. *Note: weight did change eventually, as noted above.
Roaming - This appears to have stopped.(everything crossed on this one!)
Personalty - no change, maybe slightly more affectionate and playful,
Training - this has been a surprise, as he seems to be more attentive. Managed to retrain the stop whistle which had fallen apart somewhat.
Err...his bits have definitely started to shrink
*Note: testicles start to shrink at about 6- 8 weeks on the implant. After 7 months on the implant, they slowly start to swell as the implant slowly wears off. After the effects have worn off there was no discernible difference before and after.

What we do have of course, is a young chocolate labrador, who is a handful, and needs lots of training. It certainly feels that the driven and intense behaviour has dissipated somewhat which is good.This allows me to relax more when out with Benson, and not to panic when he is out of sight. Now I am confident he will come back, the necessity of using recall so often has reduced, meaning I can work on a tighter response to the whistle.

2 months with the suprelorin implant.

I am starting to think that it really is just like the effect of surgical castration. Huge improvement in focus, responsiveness and staying close. Was a bit worried re: nervousness as we did have a rather assertive foster here, at times it was clear Benson felt uncomfortable. Everything is fine though, not change in dog to dog interactions off or on lead.

There is some interest in bitches in season, but nothing like we experienced before. A bitch was off lead, in season and in our local woods this morning, Benson was very interested, and kept wanting to go back to her. Once we got about 150m metres away he as back to normal, and has been fairly relaxed at home. It would have been a very different picture if he was still producing testosterone at the same levels before the implant. I don't know, however, if castrated dogs have any interest in bitches in season? I am sure I have read somewhere they do, misremember where though.

One change I have noticed fairly recently is an increase in appetite. So have changed to a lower fat content feed and considering changing to a slow eating bowl, this way it will slow his eating and hope he will feel more satisfied. Plus adding more low-fat frozen kongs, fish chews etc.. It can't be fun if he feels hungry.

His coat doesn't seem quite as glossy as usual, his fur feels less soft, but that may be due to coming to the end of his moult, . He had the implant just before the onset of his moult so not sure if that has any bearing on the quality/ condition. Casper has a beautiful glossy coat now, and interesting he had just been castrated when he came to us, with quite a dull coat then.
 
Very interesting to hear about your experiences, and I am sure this will be very helpful for other people considering whether to castrate or try the implant first.
 
Very interesting. My friend's sprocker had the implant and a lot of the things you have reported could be observed in her dog. He has made massive steps in his gundog training since the implant 6 months ago. He has gone from being easily distracted and fairly lukewarm about retrieving to being very focused and loving his retrieving now. Alas his once glossy coat has taken a hit. He has turned quite wooly unfortunately. But that is a small price to pay because his overall behaviour not just in gundog training classes has improved immensely. Before the implant there was a lot of friction between him and an entire cocker in his household. All of that has gone.
 
This is really interesting to read. Just a couple of comments on the experience dogs have of castration at the vets. All practices are obviously different but our plan is pretty much as follows:
1. Admit dog in consulting room with the owner. After health checks etc, administer pre-med with the owner present. Discuss with owner if the dog is used to being in a crate/kennel.
2. If used to being in a crate/kennel, admit to ward and allow to snooze gently with the pre-med. If not, keep with owner until getting sleepy then take straight to theatre for GA
3. After the procedure and dog is off the table and has had endotracheal tube removed, leave in the prep room on a vetbed with hot-air hugger on top. Nurses remain with dog, usually sitting on the floor with him, until fully conscious and can walk. During this period, there is little point in an owner being present as the dogs are so bemused by the GA and pain relief they barely know their own name!
4. If used to a crate/kennel once they can walk they are returned there for observation for a couple of hours. There are some pretty big blood vessels to tie off during castration and it is possible to get post-op bleeding so it's important they stay in the practice during this time. If not used to a kennel, they go into a quiet corner of the prep room on a harness leashed to a suitable point. There are nurses constantly in the prep room so the separation anxiety dogs are usually OK. Having an owner present during this recovery period is very difficult to manage for most practices.
5. Home as soon as possible!
This process usually works well, and minimises as much as possible the kennel fear/separation anxiety that can occur.
 
Location
Yorkshire
@Beanwood It’s a really interesting read and I’ll be following this thread as we’ll have to make a decision re Pepper at some point in the future re whether to castrate or try the implant.
 
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@Beanwood It’s a really interesting read and I’ll be following this thread as we’ll have to make a decision re Pepper at some point in the future re whether to castrate or try the implant.
You could just do neither. Unless there is some need you can just not castrate, and if there is some medical or social need it's a good idea not to castrated lab until bone development has stopped between 12 and 18 months.
 
As I mentioned above, Shadow had the Suprelorin implant last July. This is because Squidge was going to come to my sister's wedding with us as she hadn't yet had her first season; friends were going to look after the other Labs. However, just a few weeks before travelling, my sister told us that she wasn't allowed to come after all. This put us into a bit of a tiz as we had already made arrangements, and our options were very limited. In the end, the best option seemed to be to have the implant for Shadow. I really felt awful about it as I felt it was just being done for convenience sake and I was letting him down, but I didn't feel like there was any other option that wouldn't have awful consequences.

Almost immediately, I noticed an increase in his sniffy behaviour. Shadow isn't a boy who is remarkably sniffy, but he was definitely more interested in the smells from passing dogs all of a sudden. This lasted a few weeks, but then died down. Shadow does not have over-sexualised behaviours, and so I didn't notice any change in his ability to concentrate, in running off etc after the hormones had settled down. I would have said he was exactly the same dog, other than the fact his balls were teeny tiny!
During Luna's season, he was absolutely disinterested in her; there was no increased sniffing, and no mounting of any description. It was a complete non-event.
At one point I thought that it might be having a slight positive impact on his reactivity towards other dogs, but I now don't think that to be the case.
Because he had had no adverse effects (and at this stage I was still thinking it might have improved his reactivity), I repeated the implant for Luna's second season. The most noticeable change for him was his coat. He turned into a fluffy polar bear! I actually loved it, as it was so soft and fluffy, but it was definitely not a "proper" coat at all. Then when he shed this spring, he lost it all and his coat is now awful. It is so thin that you can see through to the skin in some places. It was coming out in fistfuls. Is this to do with the implant? Maybe. He's getting to the end of the second one's effective period now, so I will update if I notice any effects of it wearing off, but I am not expecting I will.

On balance, I would say that it has made me realise that there would be absolutely no point in me neutering Shadow because it did nothing to his behaviour at all. But, on the other hand, if he had to be neutered for any medical reason, I wouldn't be afraid about neutering him, as it had no impact on his behaviour. For us at this stage, I wouldn't put him through surgery for something that was of no benefit.
 
I am now on week 5 of the suprelorin.
Looking at @Beanwood's log I seem to be experiencing the same.
My first 4 weeks were very "Intense". The smelling and sniffing...

I have noticed now in week 5 some big changes:
He pulls less, is more attentive to commands, I get much more eye contact and he comes back when I call him.
He still "marks" but prefers to have a good old wee now instead of constant marking.
Humping....well if it is a retriever and fluffy he still does it (male/female any which way he can!)
His boys are slightly smaller too.
He also is more clingy and sulks if I ignore him.
He likes to hold his lead in his mouth...he has never does this ..but he walks at my side doing this with tail wagging and held high?
There is a little weight gain but I think our new dog walker is giving him too many rewards.

It is still early days but my arm sockets do not hurt like they used to!

So thank you @Beanwood for an interesting log!
 
Thought I would write a log detailing my personal experience with Suprelorin and Benson.

Benson had a week and a half ago. We were wanting to surgically castrate, however, due to work/holiday commitments we couldn't. We now feel that Benson at 19 months old is now sexually mature, so after lengthy discussions with our vet, we opted for Suprelorin. The main advantage over surgical castration is that it is reversible.

Suprelorin is an implant, (GnRH-agonist deslorelin). which works by initially stimulating testosterone causing a flood through the system in the first few weeks followed by production of testosterone being switched off. Sperm should be sterile after 6 weeks. Changes in behaviour, if notably affected by testosterone, are observed around this time.
There are two doses available 4.7mg and 9,4mg. 4.7mg is the most commonly used and is effective for around 6 months. 9.4mg is for a longer period 12months or more.

A good reference here: http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB..._the_public/veterinary/000109/WC500068830.pdf

NOAH : http://www.noahcompendium.co.uk/Virbac_Limited/Suprelorin_4_7_mg_implant_for_dogs/-48970.html

I haven't found much information regarding what the initial surge looks like, and sifting through the internet can be a minefield! It is certainly worth being aware of, although I appreciate each dog is different.

What we have seen so far: ( 13 days post implant)

1. Increased sniffing
2. Increased excitement - whining in anticipation of a walk.
3. Increased distraction to the point of impossible to train in areas where other dogs have been.
4. Increased marking (growling after marking)

The above are the reasons why we are considering castration anyway, they have just become intensified, and causing Benson some frustration. Luckily we are able to walk in our own fields where no other dogs have been, and then we have a completely different dog, relaxed and very focused. There are lots of distractions and scents...fox, deer and rabbit but no dog scent

I am wondering if the consequence of castrating some dogs during adolescence or before has more of an impact on behaviour than we realise, combined with inadequate training = badly behaved dog? We know there is a natural surge of testosterone during this period. Another thought is the castration itself, is this process managed as well as it could be in general? I have spoken to a behaviourist at length about this, how is the anaesthetic administered/can the owner be with the dog during the recovery period? Are they brought around too quickly? Just musings on my part, but I do hear a lot that the first significant signs of nervousness experienced by a dog were actually at the vets.

Benson has had some heart-stopping moments due to the fact he is entire..I wouldn't wish those on anyone. We haven't though experienced aggression from any dog towards him though,(castrated or not) and nor any aggression from Benson, he will grumble if another even attempts to mount him, and always the other dog backs off without a second warning, then play resumes
*Note: post-implant,( entire) we noted aggression towards Benson from castrated dogs. These were dogs previously where Benson had not experienced a problem

We want the best for Benson, so the log is a way to prospectively record how he is affected (or not) through the suprelorin implant. Not just from a behaviour perspective, not that we expect to see any day to day changes. From a physical perspective..how much have we had to adjust his food intake to maintain his current weight for example? Interestingly, during the testosterone surge, his weight has dropped slightly on the same quantity of feed..Exercise amounts have remained the same.

3-week update:

Finally, the testosterone surge is over. Benson is so much happier and maybe a more accurate description is more relaxed. No more intense sniffing, or being dragged around on the lead. He is also far more focused on training, which is a surprise.
Over the next few weeks, we should be seeing the same behaviour patterns associated with surgical castration. Still early days, the whole process takes between 40 and 60 days to see an effect from the chemical castration.

*Note: subsequent implant showed the surge lasted a bit longer.


4-week update:

Brief update: we certainly have a calmer dog. Sniffing as normal. Meaning the usual stop and sniff that I would expect, like the behaviour we see with Casper.
Focus and recall have improved. Now this could be just a coincidence, and things may change, it is still fairly early. Although the surge in testosterone was early and fairly dramatic.

What I didn't expect is the increased drive, around tennis balls, dummies etc...I really need to work on steadiness now, which I never imagined could ever be something I would have to consider. I throw a dummy, instead of sitting, bored waiting for me to coax a retrieve....he has gone racing after it! We are getting a nice, fast turnabout too, that could be due training or a combination of factors.... as he is staying closer I am not having to actually recall him as much as previously. In addition, I am being really selective about when I recall him, allowing him to choose to come back. If I think I will get a good, fast recall then I whistle and Benson gets a happy jackpot, plus a quick retrieve with a squeaky ball. Will have to mull over that one a bit. *Note: for sure training was much easier without the distraction of hormone-driven behaviours

He is also more affectionate, a pain really as he now insists on sitting on my lap!

Appearance and weight..in moult so hard to tell..weight as gone from 28.8 kg to 29.3 kg. He was weighed though after a swim, in a wet harness. He looks and feels right though, he was a shade on the light side when we weighed his last,(a month ago) considering his age, he probably easily get away with another .5kg or do without worrying.
*Note: There is definitely a difference in fur texture with superlorin, being slightly coarser, this may be more noticeable in dogs with a double coat. Suprelorin implant has agonistic activity on all testosterone, whereas surgical castration has an effect on the gonads, so surgical castration would leave around 10% circulating hormone. (very approximated!) Weight even on a reduction in diet, around 20 - 30%, hovers around 1.5kg above his cruising "entire" weight.

6-week update.

A key update as this is when we expect to see an improvement overall, that's if the original behaviours observed were influenced by testosterone.
So what have we observed?

Pre and immediately post-implant: (surge of testosterone due to implant) and at 6 weeks...


1. Increased sniffing - marked reduction in intensity
2. Increased excitement - whining in anticipation of a walk.,( probably due to a bitch in season )- normal excitement, levels, calm in the car
3. Increased distraction to the point of impossible to train in areas where other dogs have been. - no problem now, if anything an increase in trainability around other dogs
4. Increased marking (growling after marking) stopped completely. Still obviously stops to sniff and wee, but nothing like our previous experience of having one's arm pulled out of its socket!

Other observations:

Weight, exactly the same - around 28.8 kgs. Though being a young energetic dog wouldn't have really expected to see any change here. *Note: weight did change eventually, as noted above.
Roaming - This appears to have stopped.(everything crossed on this one!)
Personalty - no change, maybe slightly more affectionate and playful,
Training - this has been a surprise, as he seems to be more attentive. Managed to retrain the stop whistle which had fallen apart somewhat.
Err...his bits have definitely started to shrink
*Note: testicles start to shrink at about 6- 8 weeks on the implant. After 7 months on the implant, they slowly start to swell as the implant slowly wears off. After the effects have worn off there was no discernible difference before and after.

What we do have of course, is a young chocolate labrador, who is a handful, and needs lots of training. It certainly feels that the driven and intense behaviour has dissipated somewhat which is good.This allows me to relax more when out with Benson, and not to panic when he is out of sight. Now I am confident he will come back, the necessity of using recall so often has reduced, meaning I can work on a tighter response to the whistle.

2 months with the suprelorin implant.

I am starting to think that it really is just like the effect of surgical castration. Huge improvement in focus, responsiveness and staying close. Was a bit worried re: nervousness as we did have a rather assertive foster here, at times it was clear Benson felt uncomfortable. Everything is fine though, not change in dog to dog interactions off or on lead.

There is some interest in bitches in season, but nothing like we experienced before. A bitch was off lead, in season and in our local woods this morning, Benson was very interested, and kept wanting to go back to her. Once we got about 150m metres away he as back to normal, and has been fairly relaxed at home. It would have been a very different picture if he was still producing testosterone at the same levels before the implant. I don't know, however, if castrated dogs have any interest in bitches in season? I am sure I have read somewhere they do, misremember where though.

One change I have noticed fairly recently is an increase in appetite. So have changed to a lower fat content feed and considering changing to a slow eating bowl, this way it will slow his eating and hope he will feel more satisfied. Plus adding more low-fat frozen kongs, fish chews etc.. It can't be fun if he feels hungry.

His coat doesn't seem quite as glossy as usual, his fur feels less soft, but that may be due to coming to the end of his moult, . He had the implant just before the onset of his moult so not sure if that has any bearing on the quality/ condition. Casper has a beautiful glossy coat now, and interesting he had just been castrated when he came to us, with quite a dull coat then.
Hi Beanwood,

My dog has a case of BPH and I'm looking into some drug based treatments for this condition. Would you mind pming me the info of the clinic which provided this prescription? I just want to find out more information for my vet to digest in Canada (where it is not available)

Regards,

Nick
 
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