Effects of Deslorelin Acetate on Egg Production and Plasma Sex Hormones in Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2011
Olivia A. Petritz1, DVM; David Sanchez-Migallon Guzman1, LV, MS, DECZM (Avian), DACZM; Joanne Paul-Murphy1, DVM, DACZM; Kellie Fecteau2, PhD; Philip H. Kass1, DVM, PhD; Michelle G. Hawkins1, VMD, DABVP (Avian)
1School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA, USA; 2Department of Comparative Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA


Deslorelin acetate (Suprelorin®)a is a GnRH agonist that is formulated as a subcutaneous, controlled release implant designed for use in dogs as a reversible contraceptive. Deslorelin reportedly suppresses reproductive hormones in dogs for 6–12 months,1 and has been employed for reversible contraception in many species,2-6 including anecdotal reports of reproductive suppression in several avian species.7 A randomized, masked, controlled study was performed with twenty, 8-week-old female Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Japanese quail were selected for this study because they are a high fecundity species that typically lay one egg every 24.5 hours.8 The birds were divided into control (n=10) and treatment (n=10) groups. Following a 7-day acclimation period of consistent egg laying, each bird received either a 4.7-mg deslorelin implant or identical placebo implant subcutaneously between the shoulder blades.

Egg production for all birds was monitored daily, and plasma sex hormone concentrations (17b-estradiol and androstenedione) were measured via commercially available radioimmunoassay (RIA) kits (ImmuChem Double Antibody 17b-Estradiol 125I RIA and Double Antibody Androstenedione 125I RIA, MP Biomedicals, Costa Mesa, CA, USA) at 0, 14, 30, 60, and 90 days post-implant placement. Six out of 10 birds of the treatment group stopped laying eggs one week following implant placement, and the mean egg production continued to be reduced throughout the study. In contrast, birds in the control group had no appreciable change in average egg production. The complete results, including the effect on egg production over 90 days and plasma hormone concentrations, will be presented after completion of the study.


a. Peptech Animal Health Pty Limited, Australia

Literature Cited

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5.  Patton ML, Bashaw MJ, del Castillo SM, et al. 2006. Long-term suppression of fertility in female giraffe using the GnRH agonist deslorelin as a long-acting implant. Theriogenology 66(2):431–438.

6.  Silvestre FT, Risco CA, Lopez M, de S· MJS, Bilby TR, Thatcher WW. 2009. Use of increasing doses of a degradable deslorelin implant to enhance uterine involution in postpartum lactating dairy cows. Anim Reprod Sci 116(3–4):196–212.

7.  Cook K, Riggs G. 2007. Clinical report: gonadotropic releasing hormone agonist implants. American Association of Avian Veterinarians Annual Conference. Providence, RI. 309–315.

8.  Wilson W, Huang R. 1962. A comparison of the time of ovopositioning for coturnix and chicken. Poultry Sci 41:1843–1845.


Speaker Information
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Olivia A. Petritz, DVM
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California
Davis, CA, USA

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