Surgery Not Required?
Current and Future Options in Fertility Control of Dogs and Cats

November 24, 2014

Are there viable non-surgical sterilization options for cats and dogs?  iStockphoto

The number of dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters in the United States has decreased from approximately 12-20 million per year to 3-4 million. That’s a 75-80 percent decrease in the U.S. euthanasia rate, according to figures from The Humane Society of the United States.

The incredible progress made in the battle against euthanasia in animal shelters could not have been made possible without the strong--and concerted--campaign to get the spay/neuter message out to the public. But surgery is expensive, and it requires general anesthesia, and can’t be done just anywhere. Imagine how much more progress could be made if sterilization was as easy as an injection. If we had an injectable sterilant, it would, hopefully, be cheaper than surgery, wouldn’t require general anesthesia, and could be delivered almost anywhere. In the past half-decade, there has been renewed interest in finding such a non-surgical means of sterilizing animals, particularly for feral or community cats, especially where there are limited resources to prevent them from reproducing.

More recently, the Food and Drug Administration has approved Zeuterin™, an injectable sterilant for male dogs between three and ten months of age. This is the first true non-surgical sterilant approved for use in dogs, and its use has sparked a lot of interest in the field of non-surgical sterilization. Zeuterin™ is a start, but many argue that until something effective comes along for females, non-surgical sterilization won’t really become mainstream. A significant amount of research is being done to find such a product, and there are several compounds that are being looked at. While they aren’t permanent sterilants, they show promise for long-term contraception of females (for more information, read our report from the 5th International Symposium on Non-Surgical Methods of Pet Population Control).

Join Amy Fischer, PhD, and G. Robert Weedon, DVM, MPH, Board Members of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs (ACC&D), when they present an HSVMA webinar entitled, “Surgery Not Required: Current and Future Options in Fertility Control of Dogs and Cats.” This presentation will take place on Wednesday, December 10 from 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET (5:00-6:30 p.m. PT), and will discuss possible mechanisms for future non-surgical sterilant products, current emerging technologies available for long-term contraception in cats and dogs, as well as an overview of the currently approved product, Zeuterin™.

Join us on December 10 for a discussion about cutting-edge non-surgical sterilization methods. Register now»