Surgical spaying and neutering require technical expertise, equipment, time, recovery space, and significant financial investment on the part of either pet owners or government/non-profit organizations that may subsidize the procedures. In many parts of the world, including parts of the U.S., veterinarians are not available in adequate numbers and/or trained to surgically sterilize all animals in need. Some owners and caretakers resist surgical sterilization for social, cultural, or health reasons. And while spaying and neutering are safe and effective procedures, they do present some risk of complication and carry both benefits and risks in terms of various health and behavioral effects. These are but some of the reasons we seek to expand options for dog and cat fertility control. Our intent is not to replace spay/neuter, but to increase the “tools” available to veterinarians, pet population control programs, and pet owners to achieve their goals, extend reach, and conserve resources.
The ideal non-surgical product would rapidly induce permanent sterilization in a single dose, eliminate fertility, and provide beneficial non-reproductive effects. It would be effective in dogs and cats of both sexes and beginning at pediatric ages (at least 8 weeks and above), and would be safe and easy to administer. However, it is much more likely that products that will be developed will meet some but not all of these criteria. ACC&D believes that those who may utilize any contraceptive or sterilant method need to have information about that method’s mechanism of action, administration, contraindications, potential side effects, and non-reproductive effects so that they can make informed decisions.