July 22, 2011

Potential Nonsurgical Technique To Sterilize Dogs

A veterinary expert said one scientist may have discovered a nonsurgical way to sterilize dogs, according to a report by The Arizona Republic (AR).

The report said Dr. Loretta Mayer was looking for a way to artificially induce menopause in mice so they could be used to study human diseases when she and another scientist developed a drug that could also be used to sterilize female dogs.

AR's Stephanie Russo reported that Mayer will return to India, where she has been working to eradicate the spread of rabies in stray dogs there.

Dr. Nancy Bradley, director of medical services with the Arizona Humane Society, told newspaper that previous nonsurgical sterilization products have had mixed success. However, she also said that if one proved to be safe and successful, she would use it in a heartbeat.

The team was studying diseases common in aging women, but found trouble when experimenting on mice.

Hoyer and Mayer developed a drug they called "mouseopause" that induced menopause in female lab mice by eliminating eggs in the ovaries without surgery.
Mayer began testing ContraPest by 2007 on rat populations that devastate rice fields in Indonesia.  The drug provides an alternative to poison, which many Southeast Asia farmers use to deal with rats.

"I would really like to see us do things that improve our environment and are compassionate to other beings," Mayer told Russo. "My passion, without question, is to stop killing animals, however we might do that."

Mayer then developed a contraceptive drug for female dogs that can be administered orally or by injection.  This drug is still years away from being approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

"This technology, if successful, will really have a huge impact on unwanted dog populations," Mayer told AR's reporter. "The biggest impact will be where dogs are reservoirs for human diseases, like in India."

According to the report, Mayer hopes to begin FDA-approved trials in about three years at the Second Chance Center for Animals in Flagstaff.


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