Have you had the birds and the bees talk with your dog? Now you can tell your dog to be a responsible adult and take his contraceptive. Yes, there may soon be a contraceptive implant for male dogs in the US. They all can rest a little easier that their “manhood” may not have to be removed. (If their manhood has already been removed, they can always try Neuticles.)
The contraceptive implant was developed by an Australian company. It halts testosterone and sperm production for months at a time. The implant contains a drug called deslorelin or Suprelorin, which binds to GnRH receptors and overstimulates them so they become desensitized to the hormone. The dog becomes temporarily infertile. Also deslorelin blocks testosterone production which curtails aggressive behavior.
The six-month implant was launched in Australia in late 2004. The cost of the implant ranges from $52 to $77 a dose. The company will also be launching a similar implant for cats and female dogs. The male dog implant is expected to be approved in Europe within weeks. Also steps are being taken for this drug to be sold in the US.
David McDowell, veterinary consultant for the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says while oral contraceptives have been used in female cats for years, long-term use may stimulate breast tumours or uterus infections. Although the new implants work through a different mechanism, he fears similar side effects may be associated with long-term use in dogs. “Provided owners use them within the manufacturers’ guidelines, we would welcome the new drug,” he says. “However, if dog owners don’t want to use their pet for breeding, we believe neutering is the best option.”