Known as 'zeutering' because of the use of Zinc, this non-surgical castration is inexpensive and less invasive than surgery. This could be a cost-effective option for many shelters. It will be interesting to see whether its use grows across the U.S.
The Troutdale shelter is the first agency in the Portland metro area to offer the procedure, and the trial garnered interest from as far away as the U.K.
The process is a non-surgical castration procedure. “Zeutering,” as it is sometimes known, consists of locally injecting a compound of Zinc gluconate and arginine, which destroys sperm-producing cells without greatly impacting hormone levels. Proponents say it’s a much cheaper and less invasive alternative to surgery.
“I think it’s great to have it as an option, especially for people who don’t want their dogs surgically castrated,” says MCAS veterinarian Dr. Meghan Romney.
Romney is among only six veterinarians in Oregon trained in the procedure and about 30 to 40 nationwide, says Dr. Byron Maas of Bend Veterinary Clinic in Bend.
Maas is also a master trainer with Ark Sciences, the company that developed the compound. It’s known as Zeuterin in the United States and as Esterisol in Mexico, Bolivia, Panama and Colombia (in Colombia, it also has approval for use in cats).
Zeuterin recently received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in dogs between the ages of three and 10 months old. Approval for use in all dogs ages three months and older is pending.