New survey results on megestrol acetate
Insights from those who used or considered using megestrol acetate during the pandemic’s early months
In late March 2020, when many places were restricting spay/neuter surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACC&D called attention to megestrol acetate (MA) as an emergency stopgap measure to contracept female cats while surgeries were on hold. In July and August, as many locations resumed surgeries, we released a survey to learn more about the utility of this drug from those who considered its use or chose to prescribe/use it in queens.
We had slightly over 100 completed surveys, roughly half from veterinarians or their staff, one-third from shelter or trap-neuter-return (TNR) administrators, and the rest from cat owners and caregivers. The vast majority of respondents (93%) did not end up using MA. Over 75% of reasons given for not using were logistics-related (able to spay, surgery delay not a problem, and not able to access the product were common reasons cited). Concern about side effects was listed as a reason by 37% of respondents. 54% of veterinarians and 43% of non-veterinarians noted they are very or somewhat likely to use MA in the future.
Six survey respondents reported using MA in about 60 treated cats. All reported being satisfied with the results. Details on all results are available here.
If this survey is representative, we are disheartened that MA was not as helpful during this challenging time as we hoped it might be, especially for those unable to access it. However, it is not unexpected that other priorities may have dominated. Everyone had to adopt new practices during the roller coaster of pandemic-influenced operations and the first few months of adjusting to pandemic-related restrictions were a particular scramble. We continue to live with COVID-19 considerations, and it is likely that surgery delays will continue to exist or be seen again, related to COVID-19 or for other reasons. These anecdotal research results contribute to the base of ACC&D’s research on MA as an emergency measure for cat contraception. To reference that base of research and our recommendations, US visitors click here and non-US visitors click here.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate. If you or someone you know has experience using MA for temporary contraception of female cats and have not completed the survey, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short-term use of megestrol acetate for estrus prevention in cats during the Covid-19-related cessation of surgical sterilization
In response to Covid-19, which has caused many communities to defer sterilization surgeries for dogs and cats, ACC&D believes the progestin megestrol acetate (MA) may be an option for short-term contraception of some female cats. Read more about the possible use of MA during the Covid-19 pandemic at the links below.
Keep Calm and Carry On: The impact of COVID-19 on TNR and how to get back on track
In this video
we use computer simulation modeling of free roaming cat populations to illustrate the impact of a COVID-19 gap in sterilization surgeries on trap/neuter/return (TNR) scenarios. Both encouraging and thought-provoking, it reveals key takeaways for those focused on humanely managing feral cat colonies during these challenging times, and how programs can be most successful when resuming TNR. And it’s short enough to watch during a coffee break. Watch it here
Webinar on 6/8/20: What computer modeling can tell us about what to expect from a COVID-19 TNR sterilization gap
Panelists in this webinar, hosted by Stacy Lebaron of The Community Cats Podcast, discuss ACC&D’s computer simulation modeling of free-roaming cat populations and the impact of a COVID-19 gap in sterilization surgeries on trap/neuter/return (TNR) scenarios. Panelists include members of ACC&D’s modeling committee: ACC&D’s Joyce Briggs, wildlife population biologist Dr. John Boone, and the ASPCA’s Dr. Margaret Slater, as well as Peter Wolf, research and policy analyst for Best Friends Animal Society. Note:
This webinar discusses the ACC&D video “Keep Calm and Carry on: The Impact of COVID-19 on TNR and How to Get Back on Track.”
Please watch the video before viewing this webinar discussion panel.
Watch a recording of the webinar here