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AZA Reproductive Management Center Frequently Asked Questions

No. Two 4.7mg implants are not equivalent to one 9.4mg implant. The formulation (4.7mg or 9.4mg) refers to the duration of effect; the number of implants represents the dose. So, if you give an animal two implants when the recommended dose is one, you are potentially overdosing your animal, i.e., you’re giving a double dose. Also, the two different formulations are designed to release the drug at different rates, thus resulting in shorter and longer durations of effect. If 9.4mg implants are on backorder, request the same number of implants you would have requested as 9.4mg implants, but request 4.7mg implants instead. If you are looking for 12-months of contraception, these implants will need to be replaced in 6 months, rather than 12 months.

It depends on what your needs are since each product has pros and cons. MGA is more invasive to place and is larger than Suprelorin, so it might be more easily groomed out. However, it is easier to find for removal and there are more data on reversibility. Suprelorin is small and easy to place, but is more difficult to remove. Unpredictable length of suppression is the primary drawback of Suprelorin. Many individuals are suppressed much longer than 6 or 12 months and it is possible that some individuals may never recover from treatment. So, if your primate is going to receive a breeding recommendation in the near future, MGA is probably a better choice.

We recommend using an oral progestin such as Ovaban® (megestrol acetate) as a supplement to Suprelorin for all carnivores. In non-carnivore taxa, we recommend using Ovaban + Suprelorin primarily to prevent conception during the stimulation phase. However, in carnivores, we recommend using it both to prevent conception during the stimulation phase AND to preserve uterine health. Because deslorelin initially induces an ovulation, we recommend Ovaban for any mammal where the male cannot be separated from the female during the initial stimulation phase. Further, in carnivores or any species known to regularly experience pseudopregancies, we recommend administering Ovaban to prevent the pseudopregnancy deslorelin may cause and any associated effects on uterine health.

We have data that show female canids treated with an Ovaban + Suprelorin regimen had a lower risk of developing endometrial hyperplasia and pyometra than those treated with Suprelorin alone (Asa et al., 2013). Since Ovaban suppresses the stimulation phase, it helps protect the uterus from high levels of progestins that would circulate during ovulation and pseudopregnancy. We also recommend this regimen for felids since data also indicate that high levels of progestins are associated with progressive uterine and mammary growth in this taxonomic group. As a precaution, we extend this recommendation to all mammals even though each group has not yet been systematically studied.

We ask that surveys be completed for any animal that has been administered a contraceptive at your institution. Because we supply Suprelorin only to AZA-accredited institutions, we are able to track which animals require updates. But, if you order an MGA implant or administer Depo-Provera, for example, we have no way of knowing that product was used unless you report the information to us. Please report ALL contraceptive information at your institution, especially reversals following treatment.

If treatments overlap and the animal has not shown any signs (e.g. estrous behaviors) of recovering from Suprelorin suppression, Ovaban should not need to be re-administered.

No. As long as the female starts Ovaban at least seven days prior to implant placement and continues for seven days (no MORE than eight days) following implant placement, she does not need to be separated. However, she MUST consume the entire dose every day in order for the drug to be effective.

Maybe—it depends on the individual and the species. Pregnancy tests are designed to recognize and bind human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), so the more distantly related a species is from humans, the less likely the test is to be accurate. Tests are more likely to be accurate for chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos, but the Orangutan SSP recommends using only Clear Blue Easy pregnancy tests. So, there is no harm in trying, but you may receive a false negative because the test is simply not sensitive enough to detect pregnancy in species other than humans.