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Neutering Vaccine
Non-surgical alternative sterilizes dogs in one shot

Sochi's pre-Olympic dog crisis brought the world's pet overpopulation problem to the forefront of people's minds. Neutering is not a cultural norm in Russia, exacerbating stray dog numbers to uncontrollable levels. Many countries have had success with Trap Neuter Release (TNR) programs in reducing stray pet numbers over time, but not all communities have the resources needed to implement TNR. Surgery is expensive and comes with the complications of any medical procedure. Neutering also faces a hurdle with Individuals who sometimes see it as unnatural or emasculating. 

However, we could be entering a new era. On Monday, a vaccine started shipping that many animal welfare people are calling a game changer in lowering stray dog populations worldwide. Zeuterin is the first ever FDA-approved injectable sterilization compound. The vaccine sterilizes a male dog for life with one shot.

With Zeutrin five dogs can be sterilized for the cost and time it takes to surgically sterilize one dog. According to the manufacturer, Ark Sciences, the vaccine is five time safer than surgery. Zeutrin has a simple composition of sterile water, the trace element Zinc Gluconate, and the amino acid Arginine. All of these ingredients are required for the body, and no preservatives are needed.

At the moment Ark Sciences has regulatory approval in Panama, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, and the United States. They envision full adoption in the United States by the year 2020.

Besides the low cost and ease of this surgical alternative, there is another potential benefit to the vaccine. Dogs sterilized with Zeutrin retain about 50 percent of their testosterone levels. This is beneficial considering that recent studies have shown possible negative effects from eliminating sex hormones, particularly before full maturation.

Last weekend a group of volunteer veterinarians held a “Zeuterathon” in Los Angeles. Approximately 75 male dogs of all ages were sterilized in the span of a few hours. The suggested donation was $20.

While reading about Zeutrin, I came across a sad statistic that really drove home the overpopulation problem: only one out of every ten dogs born will find a permanent home. I hope that Zeutrin will be a major step in reversing the numbers of the overpopulation problem.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.
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Submitted by TNakamoto | February 20 2014 |

While this is good news for those trying to reduce the costs for neutering, it doesn't mean that the population of unwanted dogs will necessarily be reduced. One intact male dog can impregnate any number of fertile female dogs. Reducing the number of unspayed female dogs is the key to reducing the population.

Submitted by Courtney | February 23 2014 |

A lot more owners refuse to neuter a male dog than a female dog. Leaving a male dog intact doesn't effect the male dog's owner since they are not concerned with their dog knocking up someone else's female and/or dealing with puppies...
More female dog owners have their bitches fixed so that they won't have to deal with heat cycles and puppies. So knocking down the number of "in tact" male dogs will likely help significantly.

My question is, "can this vaccine be used as a blow-dart?" I mean if we could just dart all of the in tact male dogs roaming the streets without having to throw them in shelters to die, maybe that could help as well...

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