Columbia Chemically Castrates Their Cats

There is a way of chemically castrating dogs which is being called, “Zeutering”. The made up word comes from a chemical that is injected into the testes of dogs which neuters them because it destroys the sperm producing cells. The chemical is called Zeuterin™. It is also called zinc neutering.

Chemical castration is used on dogs at the SPCA of Central Florida. As far as I can tell, Colombia is the only country who chemically castrate their cats using this product. Perhaps chemical castration will be used on domestic and feral cats in America in due course.

Zeuterin™ is the first FDA approved injectable product for sterilizing dogs of 3 -10 months of age. The solution is injected into each of the dogs testes with a very fine needle. The procedure is very straightforward and fast and the dog is sedated mildly prior to the injection. There is a 99.6% excess rate and sterilization is permanent and irreversible. Dogs can go home immediately after the injections. The procedure is cheaper than surgery and shorter and therefore there will be savings on cost. This should be particularly attractive at animal shelters.

Apparently, each injection saves at least $25 per dog. If one million surgical neuters were carried out using this chemical instead, it is argued that animal welfare groups as a whole could save $50 million annually.

The SPCA of Central Florida has been designated as one of 3 training centres in the USA where veterinarians will be able to receive training and certification in the use of this new technology.

I don’t know how rigorous Colombia is in respect of their management of veterinary medicine but if they are any good then it is conceivable that chemical castration might be extended to domestic, feral and stray cats in the United States of America and European countries in the future.

My thanks to Dee for telling me about this story.

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Columbia Chemically Castrates Their Cats — 7 Comments

  1. It’s my understanding that the desire to mate pretty much stays intact because there is no change to testosterone levels.

    If this method continues and includes cats, caretakers need to be completely informed and weigh their decisions carefully.

    The benefits to this as opposed to traditional neutering is no general anesthesia, quick and easy (can be done in the field), inexpensive, nearly painless. Because testosterone isn’t altered, there is less risk for some cancers, less risk of obesity and muscle mass loss (very important is helping prevent arthritis in later life).

    I know that the sound of injecting a chemical can be unnerving; but, I would be weighing whether I wanted my pet to have a chemical introduced locally or if I preferred chemicals (anesthesia) injected systemically.

    At this point, I feel that this method would be best for feral cats or even shelter cats as opposed to domesticated. It may be OK for an only cat household; but, that needs to be addressed by someone else here. I don’t know a thing about one cat households.

    Zeuterin is now FDA approved, but other drugs have been and were found to be problematic down the road.

  2. I read about dogs being sterilised with this stuff but not cats and I’m with those worrying about the long term effects.
    Not only that, but does it remove the urge to mate? I don’t see how it can, so male dogs are still going to feel the urge if there’s a bitch in heat around and Tom cats are still going to have the instinct to roam and find a Queen in heat and to fight his rivals for the fair lady.
    The very word ‘chemicals’ sends a shiver down my spine and I don’t like this idea at all.

    • As usual, Ruth, you make some good points. The problem with chemical castration is, as you say, we don’t know really whether there will be any long-term effects and also as you say, does it stop the urges because if not, all the good things that come about because of conventional neutering won’t happen.

  3. But is it safe? It’s seems a frightening thing to do in my opinion, instant and irreversible, how do they know it stays where it is put, what happens if it destroys other cells? How many dogs were used at experimentation stages, are they still living? There is no way in this world I would allow any animal of mine to be treated in this way, it might be a good thing, it might be a very, very good thing, but this old timer doesn’t like the idea of it one teeny little bit.

    • I’m with you Babs – is it safe? Sounds extremely unsafe – if it can kill cells then I am scared of it – that’s for sure.

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