Let's Talk: Would You Try Zinc Neutering If It Meant Your Dog Could Keep His Man Bits?
I sometimes take zinc gluconate when I feel a cold coming on. And lots of people down the amino acid, L-Arginine, for all kinds of health concerns. But who knew that when you mix the two together, add a little purified water, and inject it into a dog's testicles, it effectively neuters the dog? (Don't try this at home, on beast or man!)
Welcome to the world of zinc neutering, or as it's sometimes called, zeutering. Many hope it will be a cheaper, safer, and more appealing (to some) alternative to the surgery male dogs currently need to guarantee they won't procreate. I don't know if it also takes away the urge to procreate, or if it eliminates the sometimes more aggressive/macho behavior intact male dogs can have, but it definitely seems to be highly effective at sterlization.
Within a month of this injection, the dog can't be a daddy. He can go about his business with all his parts still attached. No one, with the exception of other keen-nosed dogs, will be the wiser.
Neutering by Neutersol injection (the commercial name for the zinc, amino acid, and water solution) recently received regulatory approval in the U.S. for dogs from 3 to 10 months, and will officially launch later this year. About 300 dogs have been zeutered here already. It's been approved in Mexico, Columbia, and Boliva for a while now.
There are plenty of benefits to this form of neutering: The injections are far less costly and time consuming than traditional surgical neutering, which is a huge boon for cash-strapped shelters. It also appears to be to safer, since the sterilizing surgery - even on male dogs - is invasive, and can have complications.
In addition, it will probably also win over people who are hesitant to neuter their dogs because they think man dogs should look, well, manly. A while ago we did an article on fake testicle implants called Neuticles. There are still lots of people who want their dogs to go au naturel - sometimes for esthetics, sometimes because they don't want to alter their dog in any way. Neuticles are surprisingly popular in certain circles. I wonder if Neuticles people are concerned about the effect of Neutersol on their business?
As advantageous as the injections can be, I can see some people balking. After all, most of us are used to seeing male dogs with nothing hanging out down/back there. People are so accustomed to seeing neutered dogs that when the occasional dog bounces by with his bits still there, they can be downright grossed out by the sight. The dog may as well be wearing the testicles on his dewlap. "That's disgusting!" a friend whispered to me when an intact dog passed us by recently when we dined at an outdoor cafe.
And many people make assumptions when they see an intact male dog. They may think the owner wants him to be a cool, manly dog. They worry that the dog could be aggressive, or at least kind of jerky. They may scoot their still-young unspayed girl pups away as fast as possible. (There's no flag to tell the world "No Worries - This Dog Has Been Zeutered." Vets do put a little tattoo on the belly to ID the dog as sterile, but it's not exactly visible to passersby.)
At Dogster World HQ, we're really curious what our readers think about this. Would you have your dog get the injection? Or would you still want the full-on chop-chop? Or nothing at all? Do tell, and let us know why/why not! Let's talk! this is going to be fun!
Here's an interesting video about the procedure. If you don't like watching injections, especially injections into the nether regions, you might want to skip through part of it. The segment starting at about 4:30, with the veterinarian squeezing and touching the dog's privates in a park, is just a little oddball. I wonder if anyone passed him by while he was doing that (admittedly necessary) exam? I'd have picked up my pace and started whistling and looking skyward...