Posted on January 25, 2015
Zeuterin: Chemical Sterilization of Male Dogs
I first wrote about Zeuterin, a product used to chemically sterilize male dogs, a couple of years ago. At the time, Zeuterin was still undergoing studies for FDA approval. Ark Sciences, the manufacturer of Zeuterin, received that approval in early 2014, and, since then, the use of this product has rapidly accelerated within the United States.
I recently completed the specific training required for veterinarians to purchase and use Zeuterin. My training began with an online instructional webinar. Next, I completed a wet lab during which I Zeutered three dogs under the watchful eye of a certified trainer. I had the good fortune of doing so with certified trainer, Dr. Laureen Bartfield. She is the director of SNAP-NC (Spay Neuter Assistance Program of North Carolina), and has Zeutered hundreds if not thousands of dogs.
The Zeutering process
From start to finish, Zeutering each dog required no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Keep in mind, things would have been easily twice as quick had I not been learning the procedure for the first time. Here’s how the Zeutering worked:
Step one: Each dog received a thorough physical examination to make sure there were no problems that would interfere with a good outcome. For example, if a dog had significant skin irritation around the scrotum, he would have been disqualified from being Zeutered that day.
Step two: Each dog was sedated to very lightly anesthetized. The goal was to sedate to the point that the dog was willing to lie on his back without struggling. We used a sedation drug called dexmedetomidine, the effects of which were readily reversed by another drug immediately following the procedure.
Step three: Using calipers, the size of each testicle was measured in order to determine and draw up the exact volume of Zeuterin needed for each testicle into two separate syringes.
Step four: Using a slow, steady technique, the appropriate volume of Zeuterin was injected into the center of each testicle. Pain receptors within the testicles respond primarily to changes in pressure, so the key to keeping the dogs comfortable was injecting the Zeuterin very slowly.
Step five: A green “Z” was tattooed within the skin adjacent to the sheath (just in front of the scrotum). Given that the testicles remain, this tattoo announces to the world that the dog has indeed been neutered.
Step six: The dogs were sent home within a couple of hours of being Zeutered. They received an injection of pain medication along with a few day’s worth of oral pain medication to be given at home. This is a standard recommendation for dogs who have been Zeutered. There is no need for a follow up visit unless concerns arise. Clients were advised that their dog would have some scrotal swelling for the first few days. They were also told that their dogs would not be 100% sterile until 30 days following Zeutering.
Impressions of Zeutering
Following my first hands on experience with Zeuterin, here are my impressions:
- The Zeutering process is precise, but easy to learn.
- Zeutering is a quick process.
- Zeutering is a safe process.
- The Zeutering process appears to be pain-free.
- Recovery from Zeutering is rapid.
- Zeuterin provides a safe and effective means to neuter male dogs.
Stay tuned for Zeuterin: Part II in which I will compare Zeutering to conventional surgical neutering.
Would you consider Zeuterin for your dog?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.