Suppression of Fertility in Adult Dogs

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ContentsUnfortunately, the overpopulation of dogs is still a problem in the majority of countries and even though surgical methods of sterilization, the most traditional and commonly used technique, have been intensively performed, the impact on the dog population is negligible. The neutering of companion animals as ovariohysterectomy (spaying) or orchidectomy (castration) has its limitations because of the cost, the need of a surgical environment and the risk of surgical and/or anaesthetical complications (ACCD 2009). In fact, surgical castration has been banished in some northern European countries and has limited acceptance in other countries. In a survey performed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 56.5% of the owners of adopted shelter dogs were against the surgical procedure for different reasons (Soto et al. 2005). Currently, the options for contraception, defined as suppression of fertility are based on hormonal treatment. The treatments can be divided into analogues of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), progestins and androgens. Other possibilities of contraception are via the immunological system with vaccinations against GnRH, the luteinizing hormone (LH) receptor and the zona pellucida proteins. Finally, there is also the intra-epididymal or intratesticular injection of sclerosing substances in dogs. Mechanical devices to disrupt fertility are not used anymore due to the side effects. Suppression of fertility in adult dogs will be reviewed in order of use and possible impact on the dog population.

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