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Drug may revolutionize control of dog population

| Friday, July 22, 2011

A Flagstaff, Ariz., scientist may have discovered a nonsurgical way to sterilize dogs -- an advance that would revolutionize animal-shelter medicine and address many states' canine-overpopulation problem in the process, according to one veterinary expert.

Dr. Loretta Mayer was looking for a way to artificially induce menopause in mice so they could be used to study human diseases when she and another scientist developed a drug that they realized also could be used to sterilize female dogs, removing the need for painful and expensive surgery.

Although the drug is years away from being approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Mayer will soon return to India, where she has been working to eradicate the spread of rabies in stray dogs there.

Dr. Nancy Bradley, director of medical services with the Arizona Humane Society, said previous nonsurgical sterilization products have had mixed success. But, she said, if one proved to be safe and successful, she would use it in a heartbeat.


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