Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As a veteran veterinarian with more than three decades of practice under my belt, it has been a long time since I’ve been anything other than matter-of-fact about any medical procedure. I believe in “sharpening my saw,” as Stephen Covey advised in his classic book
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and that means I work to keep myself on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine.
But recently I found myself in a situation with no cutting edge at all. I was in training for a new neutering technique, one that has the potential to revolutionize how we care for our dogs. I had been looking forward to the training for weeks, but I have to admit there was just a split second of hesitation as I slid a needle into the testicles of the dog before me.
My microsecond of manly hesitation was immediately overwhelmed by enthusiasm. I had just “Zeutered” my first pet, and I knew for myself the ease of the procedure — and the potential
Zeuterin has to be a powerful weapon in the fight against pet overpopulation.
Zeuterin is a nonsurgical form of
neutering, the only such procedure approved for dogs 3 to 10 months of age by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Neutering by needle works by injecting a solution of zinc gluconate into each testicle, rendering it incapable of producing sperm. The procedure is very close to pain-free (most pets probably feel nothing more than the needle stick) and usually does not require anesthesia. Zinc is a natural spermicide, and the injection allows the product to render the dog infertile. Even as the sperm are dying, the dog’s body is responding by blocking the tubes that carry sperm with scar tissue, while absorbing and metabolizing the solution. The solution will soon be gone, but the effect is permanent.
Zeuterin is ideal for animal shelters and spay-neuter clinics, with dogs usually in and out within about half an hour. (It's only for male dogs at this time.) From the pet's point of view, it’s probably an easy procedure, like a vaccination, really. The fur doesn’t even need to be clipped. For some
dogs, a light sedation may be necessary, but others just need to be restrained. Complications are few, and those that do happen are mostly minor and short-term. A study of 40 dogs has shown no long-term complications for more than two years.
Because the chemical leaves the testicles in place — although they typically shrink in size — dogs who’ve been Zeutered will be tattooed with a “Z” or microchipped. Really, though, after Zeutering, the testicles will have a different "feel" to them that a veterinarian should be able to discern once trained.
Add it all up, and you can see why I chose Zeuterin as one of my top veterinary products for last year. And its potential is just starting to be realized. Zeuterin has been used in Japan to control dog populations in
the area abandoned after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as to control populations of feral dogs in the
Philippines. Humane population control of
dogs in these situations is also a matter of public health,
protecting people from injury and disease.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Raju, a 50-year-old elephant who had
lived his whole life in chains, celebrated
his first year of freedom by eating…
Want your dog to be a welcome guest at
the RV park? Follow our simple guide to
being safe, clean and considerate.
In honor of Shark Week, we rounded up a
few things we bet you don't know about
these mysterious creatures.
From the strong-willed Tibetan Mastiff to
the tenacious Jack Russell Terrier, these
dogs tend to have minds of…
Our cats and dogs are celebrating
Independence Day with these adorable
outfits, catnip pillows and much more.
Your pet’s health could be at risk if you believe these misconceptions, like “home remedies” that are actually…
The versatile American Shorthair came to the New World alongside pilgrims, sailors and adventurers.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.