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Ask a Vet: Is There an Alternative to Getting My Dog Snipped?

Photo by T. Fernandes, via Flickr

Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on 7x7.com. Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink at your service. Ask your own questions in the comments!

Q:What are alternatives to having my dog snipped? Is there dog birth control?

A: Yes and no. One of the most well known and popular options is Zeuterin, also known as zinc neutering. It permanently sterilizes male dogs with a single injection of zinc gluconate and arginine. Instead of removing the testicles and going through anesthesia, your veterinarian will inject the drug into each testicle. How it works: Zinc, in the specific concentration used, is a spermicide. Right now it's only available for male dogs between three and ten months of age. Size restrictions also apply. Dogs who undergo this procedure cannot get female dogs pregnant, but will continue to produce some testosterone. Hopefully as more research is done, nonsurgical sterilization options will become available for more animals.

If you are interested in Zeuterin or traditional spay/neuter for your dog, the SF SPCA is offering free spay/neuter for all chihuahuas and chihuahua mixes from now through April 30. Call the SF SPCA at (415) 554-3000 to book your appointment.