Did you know that non-invasive contraceptives for dogs are available in numerous countries? They provide a viable alternative to sterilization and neutering.
There will come a time when sterilizing your beloved dog could be as simple as taking them to the vet for their annual shots.
For Dr. Judith Samson-French, anon-surgical alternative to sterilization should be an option that veterinarians in Canada can offer.
Contraceptives for both cats and dogs are not available in Canada, but she has special access to 1 drug for a project that aims to control stray dog populations in remote First Nations areas. Sheinjects a contraceptive implant, which is about the size of a grain of rice, and a microchip to track the dog.
Deslorelin, a drug which she has access to through an emergency drug release, costs $55. It has been found to last over a year with no side effects, she said.
About 300 dogs in 4 communities have been treated in Canada so far. There are plans for similar projects in British Columbia, Manitoba and Nunavut.
An alternative contraception is needed since it is difficult to give veterinary care in remote areas for free-roaming dogs, she said.
Strays can also pose danger to children. Just this year, two girls were mauled to death by wild dogs in Manitoba.
According to Samson-French, the drug is commercially available in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, but not in North America.
“I would love to have that available in private practice for dogs,” she said.
In Europe, non-permanent contraceptives are used on female show dogs, said Samson-French. It thwarts them from going into heat during competitions, but they can still bear pups after earning their qualifications.
It may be pricey for a company to try to get the drug approved in the country, but it has already been tested and it “works beautifully,” she said.
Deslorelin suppresses the production of reproductive hormones, said Joyce Briggs, president of the U.S.-based Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.
A vaccine which would trigger an immune response against the gonadotropin-releasing hormone is also being developed. She calls it the “master hormone,” which puts the whole reproductive cycle in motion.
Zeuterin is available in the United States. It sterilizes dogs when injected into the testicles. Samson-French said a drug called GonaCon is showing promise as a contraceptive for cats.
“We’re looking at health care for animals that is following the progress of health care for people,” Briggs said in an interview from Portland, Ore.
“We certainly wouldn’t think about managing population with an ovarian hysterectomy for women and castration for men.”
Several pet owners would likely welcome a less invasive choice to surgery if they had any inkling that there was another option that was less invasive, she said.
She still thinks that pets should be spayed and neutered.
“I’m very much an advocate for it. But I’ll tell you, when I’m about to take my own animals in for the surgery, I always feel bad for them,” Briggs said.
“And if there was an alternative where I could bring them in, have them not go under anaesthesia and just get a shot, I think that would be great.”
Source: Global News Canada