Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birth Control for Dogs?


Over at The Week, they've got an update on birth control for dogs:

There's birth control for dogs?
It's in the works. Along with SenesTech, a biotech company that specializes in "humane animal population management," Arizona scientist Dr. Loretta Mayer has developed Chemspay, a doggy contraceptive that is administered once orally or via injection, and induces menopause in an animal. In trials conducted between 2004 and 2008, the drug significantly reduced the number of eggs in test dogs, thus rendering them unable to have puppies.

What's next for this canine pill?
Mayer is taking her research to India, where she's working on a project to curb the country's feral dog population. "This technology, if successful, will really have a huge impact on unwanted dog populations," she says. "The biggest impact will be where dogs are reservoirs for human diseases, like in India." Stateside, it could dramatically decrease the number of unwanted dogs that are euthanized, says Maria Parece at Gather.

So when can American dogs get in on this?
In three years or so, Mayer plans to begin FDA trials at an animal rescue center in Flagstaff, Ariz. It will take a total of six to nine years for Chemspay to gain FDA approval. "There is a very long timeline in this project," Mayer says. "Each and every one of our products takes years to develop."

For a list of your options as far as human birth control goes, see my Field Guide to Contraceptives.
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13 comments:

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

I can't help but feel that something like this would be a very great boon over here in Britain, for a slightly different species. Specifically, European badgers, which are a pest here because they harbour and very effectively spread bovine tuberculosis. In former times, when governments did as they pleased and bunny-huggers were fewer and less strident, badgers were gassed wholesale in their setts in response to a bTB outbreak, and indeed this worked very, very effectively.

Then the bunny-huggers took over, lobbied successfully for the ending of the gassing campaign, and managed to get badgers so highly protected that so much as standing on top of a sett can render one liable to prosecution. Bovine TB expanded into the burgeoning badger population, and has been expanding exponentially ever since, with all the effects on cattle that you would imagine from this.

The net effect on politicians, animal rights activists and assorted other muppets can be likened to the aftermath of letting off a thunderflash in a chicken run. Nobody wants to resume the formerly effective control strategy for fear of public opinion (which is as gormless, ill-informed and strident as ever, despite 99% of the people never having seen a live badger), yet compensation for culled cattle is an ever-increasing burden for Government.

So, how's about slipping badger populations a nice dose of single-dose contraceptive vaccine? Instant shutdown of probably 80% or so of the breeding population of badgers, with no perturbation effects from culling and no actual killing so it ought not upset the bunny-huggers too much.

AJ said...

It makes me feel uncomfortable
I can see people slipping this to rivals dogs at competitions or being thrown over neighbours fences.
One pill and their breeding days are over.

PBurns said...

Making a dog sterile will not have an impact on a rival dog at a show. Making it dead by squirting a little antifreeze in the water dish is the way to go... or else toss it a couple of Tick-Tacks wrapped in cheese. Those will kill a dog in short order due the artticial sweetener in them. A dead dog is very hard to show, no matter how artful the taxidermist!

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Bjarne´s aquarium blogg said...

Well there are many ways to kill a dog ,Patrik.But I think the owner would notice that.....with this a kennel owner could have the whole kennel destroyed and not even notice it
for months.
Does not AR etc. want to end dog breeding...

Carolyn Horowitz said...

Show rivals are also breeding program rivals. I wouldn't put it past certain individuals; however, they generally don't have access to a rival's dogs without committing another crime.

I would be more concerned about the "All breeding is evil" crowd using it to sterilize dogs without the owners knowledge. A vet tech or a groomer with an agenda could do a fair amount of damage.

PBurns said...

Nah. I assure you the Animal Rights folks are wimps and cowards and stay-at-homes. They aren't really interested in animal welfare -- they're interested in posturing, being morally superior (and anonymous) on the Internet, and getting themselves on TV if they can. Besides, how are you or anyone else even going to get their hands on this drug? It's not like it's available down at your local pharmacy. If folks want to sterlize your dog without you knowing about it right now, all they have to do is flip it over and put a quinine tablet past the cervix into the uterine cavity. One pill will do it for a dog, and it will take about 50 seconds. Done all the time with humans (two pills used here for certainty). See quinacrine sterilization at >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinacrine#Quinacrine_non-surgical_sterilization_for_women_.28QS.29

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bestuvall said...

not sure how familiar you are with a bitches anatomy but placing an object through the cervix of a bitch not in season is a most difficult task.. and the canine cervix is located quite far up the vaginal vault.think "up and over". you cannot just "flip a dog over" and insert an object past the cervix..as for this happening "all of the time " with humans.. not in the USA.. and not very common elsewhere either..interestingly enough its use is banned in India for humans
however if you have tapeworm it is just the thing..
accessibility to drugs for the determined lay person has never been a problem. Why should this one be any different?

PBurns said...

My knowlede of a canine cervix is zero, but this certainly explains why the procedure is not done with cat and dogs.

Quinacrine use is banned in India due to politics, not safety. Quinacrine sterilization is so cheap and easy that there is a fear some organization might come in with a few million dollars and sterilize vast number of women without them even knowing it under the guise of a free pelvic exam, or incidental to giving birth.

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AJ said...

My dogs wouldnt even let me flip them over and poke things in them ( & I imagine it would be painful and cause some yelping)
Doing that in a public place or poisioning the dog is more likely to be seen and traced back to you.
These pills could be slipped to the dog quickly and would not be noticed for months.

And its not just dog shows, what about sheepdog trials , field trials , agility. There are many area's where competitors would like to see their rivals kennels hit the dust.

PBurns said...

I used to show AKC a million years ago, and I dont believe that for a second. And to reiterate, fecundity has nothing to with whether your dog can herd sheep, perform well in a field trial, or win in the show ring. And, to reiterate, it's far easier to toss a dog two or three Tick Tacs pushed into a morsel of dog food than it is to obtain this drug and do the same thing.

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Bjarne´s aquarium blogg said...

It seams this this tecnology is not
just about dogs !Quite scary actually
... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4SnzDQJ8qo

bestuvall said...

no you are correct fecundity has nothing to do with the CURRENT animals at trials,hunts, herding or show rings.. but it could certainly have an impact on the future of these events.
I just returned from the state fair. Lucky me I was there during dairy week.. lots of cows and goats.magnificent animals. many of them pregnant with the future animals that will provide us with food and some even as pets..I was "up close and personal" with many animals .. and it would have been no problem for me to slip them a pill .. a dog event would be just as easy.
There were picketers outside the grounds ( they wisely were not allowed in) so the AR's are from "stay at home".. they are in your face everywhere.
Thanks for admitting your lack of knowledge about the canine cervix.. LOL.. the canine cervix is located "up and over" the vagina of the bitch.. you cannot breed a dog from the "flipped over" position.. hence the name "doggy style" where the penis is inserted upward and the semen flows up and over the vaginal vault and then level to downward to the open cervix during estrus..
I should say most dogs cannot breed from the flipped over position.. but never say never..
all in all this pill will have to be used very carefully.. and wisely.. there is much room for mismanagement and devious use

TeamDog said...

Or, you could just spay a dog. Of course, I'm not talking about rival's dogs or anything like that, but pet dogs.