Sexual behavior and serum testosterone concentration in stallions treated with slow-release implants of deslorelin acetate

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the long-term effects of the administration of 4.7-mg slow-release deslorelin implant on stallions' plasma testosterone concentrations and sexual behavior. Five control animals received a subcutaneous dose of saline solution, whereas treated animals (n = 11) received a subcutaneous implant of 4.7-mg deslorelin acetate (Suprelorin; Virbac SA, Carros, France). Testosterone plasma concentrations were monitored from April to September every week for the first 30 days, then every 2 weeks until the end of the study (98 days in total). A stimulation test using human chorionic gonadotropin was performed before and 70 days after implant administration. Behavior was assessed by asking owners to fill out a questionnaire before treatment, weekly during the study, and then at 7 months after treatment. In treated stallions, an acute increase in testosterone concentration was evident within 7 days after treatment, which was followed by a gradual decline to below basal values over the next 42 days. Results of this study support that deslorelin is biologically active in the stallion. The answers to the questionnaires showed a significant decrease (P = 0.03) in the rearing up behavior at week 3 and 4 after treatment. At the end of the study, of 11 owners, 5 asked their stallions to be reimplanted. Lacking side effects, deslorelin could be considered, in some instances, in the treatment of some behavioral problems in stallions, although there are individual variations in response, which deserve further investigations.

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