A scientist is on the brink of a new way to sterilise dogs without the need for surgery.
Any dog owner hates seeing their pooch go in for a medical procedure, but a special well of sympathy is reserved for dogs that are sterilised – especially by men.
However, a scientist in Flagstaff, Arizona, may have discovered a way to do the deed without your pet having to go under the knife.
Dr Loretta Mayer was conducting a study with mice, which involved inducing their menopause by artificial means so that they could be used in studies on human disease. Her work led to the production of a drug, which she realised could be used on dogs to prevent any painful surgery.
Non-surgical sterilisation for dogs is not new, but so far, the results have been mixed. Dr Mayer hopes that her new method will revolutionise the care provided by animal shelters and charities, as it could be much cheaper than the surgical option.
The drug, Chemspray, is given to the dog orally or by an injection. In studies carried out between 2004 and 2008, it was found to reduce the number of eggs carried by females dogs to the point where they were infertile.
Dr Mayer has high hopes for the treatment. She commented:
“This technology, if successful, will really have a huge impact on unwanted dog populations.
“The biggest impact will be where dogs are reservoirs for human diseases, like in India.”
The only cloud on the horizon is the fact that it has yet to be approved for use by the American Food and Drug administration. Dr Nancy Bradley, the Arizona Humane Society’s Director of Medical Services, thinks that Chemspray may not be approved for at least another ten years. She added:
“If [it] proves to be safe and successful, I would use it in a heartbeat.”
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