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Zeutering: Now FDA Approved Chemical Castration for Dogs

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The newest in dog sterilization, Zeutering, is an FDA approved, non-surgical way to “neuter” your male dog, without the use of anesthesia, while leaving the testicles intact.

The chemical neutering process involves sedating your dog to calm him and injecting a solution of zinc-gluconate, L-Arginine, and water into each of the dog’s testicles. The dog is then marked with a small tattoo to indicate that he’s been neutered, and one month later, he is completely sterile. The process greatly reduces the costs of neutering and the time it takes to perform an operation.

There is little to no recovery time, no swelling, no irritation, no stitches.

The injection, made by Ark Sciences, called Esterilsol, is FDA approved for use on puppies between 3 and 10 months old. About 300 puppies have been zeutered to date, and the long-term effects of the procedure are still being researched.

According to Ark Sciences,

Esterilsol™ is a Zinc Gluconate with L-Arginine compound that sterilizes the animals with just one injection in each testicle. The effects are permanent and reliable. And, most importantly, virtually painless. Castration, on the other hand, involves surgically removing the testicles, which can cause a host of related issues, pain being one of the many.

Ark Sciences’ mission is to alleviate the suffering of humans and animals around the world. A big mission for the group to take one, but they’re dedicated to drastically reducing the rate of pet euthanasia in the US, and hope that providing a safe, inexpensive alternative to surgical neutering will do just that. They are currently educating veterinarians and shelter/rescue organizations on the technique and benefits of using Esterilsol.

While organizations are free to choose their neutering methods, substituting one million castrations with Zinc neutering among non-profits could save over $50M of donated dollars every year. Imagine the potential windfall of $50M becoming readily available for other animal welfare programs including dog adoption, responsible breeding, pet education, etc.

In this video, learn more about zeutering and watch an actual zeuter take place:

53 Responses to Zeutering: Now FDA Approved Chemical Castration for Dogs
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  3. Arla
    February 10, 2014 | 4:12 pm

    My dog was neutered 10 years ago by injection, however, he has marked his entire life. He just had his testicle removed as he had a cancerous lump, and now he no longer marks. I wished I would have had him neutered to begin with!

  4. MadMaxx63
    February 10, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    And what about using this method for Giant breed dogs that benefit from sterilization later in life like at 18 months-ish?

  5. Rachel Stein
    February 10, 2014 | 12:01 pm

    We am impressed and wish to have our dog zeutered.
    Where is the closest facility for us who live in Sherman Oaks, California, to have the procedure performed?
    Thank you!
    R Stein

  6. Joe Lemmons
    February 10, 2014 | 9:17 am

    Look up, “Canine testicular tumours: a study on 232 dogs.” I’ll include a link to the abstract at the bottom, but they may remove it from the posting. The fact is that recent studies have found the prevalence in dogs with both testes to be even higher than thought in the 1962 study. This study puts the percentage of dogs with testicle tumors (non-castrated) at 27%. The amount of cancerous tumors would be less, but either way dogs with no testicles would have 0% of those tumors. It is not a “wives tale” at all and any attempt to make claim that it is would be arrogant and ignorant!

    There are many doctors that have posted regarding the FACT that dogs with testicles have a high rate of testicular cancer and or tumors. But, the article I put the link to is one of the few with scientific backing.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18295787

    • MadMaxx63
      February 10, 2014 | 12:16 pm

      I tried talking friends into having their Akida neutered…but macho Matt wouldn’t have it…right up to the point of the dog getting tumors! You’re right… this is NOT a myth!!!

    • shelbel
      February 22, 2014 | 11:28 pm

      seemed like a breeder trying to defend something she read on “the AKC puppy mill members monthly.” wives tale? has she EVER taken her dogs to a vet?

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    • shelbel
      February 22, 2014 | 11:26 pm

      what’s the weather like on your planet?

  8. Amanda
    November 1, 2013 | 11:54 am

    I rescued my dog back in April & the shelter zeutered him. He was 5 months then but now he is almost 11 months and only 1 testicle shrunk, the other is totally normal. My vet said he should be neutered because there is not enough research to determine if this actually works. I’m getting a 2nd opinion in 2 weeks because I don’t want my already fearful dog to go thru surgery if it’s not needed. Has anyone had a similar outcome where only 1 testicle shrank?

    • MadMaxx63
      February 10, 2014 | 12:18 pm

      Have they checked his testosterone levels to see what it is? It is possible that the larger testi is sterile…and just didn’t shrink to the size of the other.

  9. Karla
    October 4, 2013 | 8:19 pm

    Paula i dont think its all the dogs and i believe it has to do with their own inmune system i mean each dog is different and they react different to everything even the food jst like us…. i got 6 males all rescues and they all got zeuter and while the rest did ok only one of them got an infection in his scrotum which i fixed with neosporing and amoxilin and it cleared within two days and another got huge testicles at least it double the size swolen and in pain but i talked to vet n gave me meds at no cost and it help tremendously with the pain and discomfort… They were swolen for abt two weeks im not gng to lie over something that i wish they would of told me before to be prepared because they dnt tell u that there are possible side effects like the ones i jst mention and the fact that their testicles almost dissapear with the shots…. So its been a couple of months now and they r fine not fighting over territory like they used to before so im very pleased. They still have some testosterone which makes me feel good abt their hormonal balance cuz they wont get as many problems as a dog that cannot produce hormones to regulate his body so till now im pleased. Very affordable due to the fact that i got my little team and the savings are always a plus. And as far as cancer in testicles the vet told me its almost impossible due to the fact that they wont produce the same quantity hormones as an intact dog and the hormones are the responsible for such illnessess. Hope it helps some of you that have concerns abt zeutering ur dog and dont have anyone to ask or hear their experiences which are very much needed like me that i went blinfolded but thats how u learn…

  10. Dana
    September 23, 2013 | 9:30 am

    This chemical castration is literally just an acid that burns the dog. As the dog is only sedated, it feels everything, but cannot move. Sometimes, the killed sperm will ferment, for lack of a better word, in the dog’s testicles and become septic. When the sepsis spreads, the dog dies. I am with an animal rescue and we have seen this. We currently have a dog who was injured by it, and multiple dogs in our area have died from it. I do not care if it is “cost effective” when it puts our dogs at risk. They also should not have to feel that pain. This is inhumane and needs to be stopped.

    • paula redington
      September 28, 2013 | 2:24 pm

      Don’t Zeuter you dog if they are older than 1 year. My 3 year old shepard had a terrible reaction from the zeuter shot. His terstilces swelled to the size of grapefruits and developed sores that started to bleed. He had to have emergency surgery to remove the testilce and scrotum. I dont think there is enough research on this procedure for larger and older dogs.

    • Debbie Kern
      January 11, 2014 | 11:24 pm

      Dana – I would love to know what shelter in the US is currently using this procedure and has had such ill effects from it. Also, the intro to the video shows the dog has no pain as they are “sedated”. A “shot” that is over and done in seconds seems less painful in the long run than surgical neutering.

      • shelbel
        February 22, 2014 | 11:23 pm

        seems like some people might have a vested interest in scaring people away from zeutering. if it does not list these effects on the ARK FAQ/info, i would seriously doubt your story happened.

  11. sherrie
    June 11, 2013 | 7:29 pm

    I would love to know where I can get my toy Chihuahua Zetured he only weighs about 4-5 lbs and dont want him to go under this would be great on small dogs

  12. Mike Knollhoff
    April 22, 2013 | 4:16 pm

    Would explain my guy, he was done at 9 weeks (not my preference) because we got him from the pound. He is a great dog but humping is still a problem and he is very fearful, he even hides when you pop bubble wrap.

    I don’t think I would let this treatment be done on my dog, not enough history with it yet to know the long term effects.

    • Dan Ther
      February 10, 2014 | 2:22 pm

      Mike, I think you bring up an important point, not all animal rescue facilities (pounds included) really do have the best interests of their dogs and cats in their hearts. They are so proud of the number of puppies and kittens that they place, but care little about the actual animals that they do. Case in point, my wife and I have probably the sweetest ‘rescued’ black lab (now 4 years old) that we adopted at 8 weeks of age. We were informed that he was neutered at 6 (SIX) weeks of age because they had a placement scheduled in a week and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to place him and his 3 siblings. After a month of trying to potty train him without success as far as urinating our vet determined that he had Diabetes Insipidus, which was caused by the early neurtering prevented his development of antidiuretic hormone that helps concentrate his urine and results in frequent urinating and can be lethal due to the loss of undiluted water being expelled. He is now on an artificial antidiuretic at the cost of $300/month. Luckily my wife is in medicine and can get it at wholesale from the drug company. If adopted by someone else he quite likely would have been returned to another rescue outfit or been euthanized as uncurable (it isn’t something that they can outgrow). As it is I can’t help but wonder what happened to his brother and 2 sisters. In my vet’s words “Neutering at that age amounts to animal cruelty”. I contacted the local Humane Society and as a result they yanked the license of the particular ‘rescue league’ (it wasn’t the only example of animal abuse they found). While the vast majority of such outfits may have the best interest of the pets they adopt out in mind, I found out that many follow the same practice instead of offering a legal contract where the adopters promise to neuter their pets and are refunded the cost of the procedure when they show proof of the operation. BTW, I’m follow the example of our own vet and having our new puppy neutered at 6 months, just like he did recently.

    • shelbel
      February 22, 2014 | 11:21 pm

      mike, bubble wrap even scares ME. sounds like a gun, and i can’t imagine a small pup not being scared of it.

  13. Doris
    March 4, 2013 | 10:26 am

    Gabrielle, were the findings of the negative effects of neutering, fearfulness, aggression, etc. due to early (before 10 months) neutering?

  14. Gabrielle
    July 6, 2012 | 5:52 pm

    Bruce, seeing that you are a vet, I hope you are aware of the studies (one even cited on the marketing company’s web site) that have found there to be deleterious effects to early surgical neutering of dogs. ["Our data showed that the behavior of {sugically} neutered dogs was significantly different from that of intact dogs in ways that contradict the prevailing view. Among the findings, neutered dogs were more aggressive, fearful, excitable, and less trainable than
    intact dogs." from Behavioral and Physical Effects of Spaying and Neutering Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris) Summary of findings detailed in a Masters thesis submitted to and accepted by Hunter College by Parvene Farhoody in May, 2010. © 2010 Parvene Farhoody & M. Christine Zink] What is of interest is that this “zinc neutering” leaves about 50% of testosterone production intact so may
    not cause the same undesired developmental and behavioral changes as does surgical castration.

    From the FAQ section of the Ark Sciences site:
    “How does zinc neutering affect testosterone levels? Studies have shown that testosterone production decreases 41-52% in treated dogs. The reduction is permanent.”
    and
    “To the extent such undesirable behaviors seen in surgically castrated dogs are caused by the complete elimination of testosterone, Zinc Neutering would be unlikely to cause them.”

    • shelbel
      February 22, 2014 | 11:19 pm

      “Among the findings, neutered dogs were more aggressive, fearful, excitable, and less trainable than intact dogs.”

      sorry, but these are all the reasons- almost every single one– WHY WE NEUTER. because it ELIMINATES these behaviors. i reject that as utter bulls*t.

  15. Kona
    June 2, 2012 | 12:38 pm

    Testosterone levels are only reduced by about half, so any neutering done for behavioral reasons may not resolve these issues by using this method of chemical castration. The big benefit from this type of chemical castration is that endocrine function is maintained in the testes. They’ve been conducting studies for this particular chemical castration since 1999, and has shown no significant long terms issues. The FDA will not approve of such a compound without doing long term trials, and this is the only form of chemical castration to date that has ever been approved and deemed safe by the FDA. You can get answers to many of the questions posted here at: http://www.arksciences.com/faq.html

    • Emma
      August 3, 2012 | 3:25 pm

      Kona, with respect, I think you place too much confidence in FDA approval. There are any number of drugs that have been FDA-approved – in human medicine – that were later taken off the market due to side effects. One recent example, Avastin for breast cancer. One famous example, Fen-Phen for weight loss.

      • Mike Knollhoff
        April 22, 2013 | 4:11 pm

        I agree completely, the FDA is not the final word on safety their track record is far from stellar.

        • shelbel
          February 22, 2014 | 11:16 pm

          right- FDA sucks.

          but we are talking about zeutering street dogs, also….this will make a HUGE impact in the animal overpopulation crisis.

  16. Bruce Langlois DVM
    April 25, 2012 | 3:14 pm

    I would really like to know what levels of testosterone remain. One huge benefit of castration, is removing the source of testosterone. If this works like the other chemical castration product that was previously on the market, the dogs still produce testosterone, and have all the bad behaviors associated with it. Marking, aggressiveness and roaming are a huge issue and one of the main reasons for castrating a pet dog. I think it would be a great product if it does in fact eliminate testosterone.

  17. Toni Sherman
    April 17, 2012 | 8:38 pm

    So, other than a tattoo, you would have not way of knowing if a male dog had been zeutered or not(?) So, what about long haired dogs? Seems that would also leave some room for fraudulently tattooing a dog and then leaving them intact. I’m not sure why someone would do that, so I’ll have to ponder that for a while. It also bothers me that this isn’t 100% effective like traditional neutering, and I would want to see this results/effects of this procedure at least 5 to 10 years down the road to gauge the side effects if any.

    • Whitney
      May 30, 2013 | 7:36 pm

      We just rescued a dog from the pound who is approximately a year old. They zeutered him. He has a tag much like his rabies tag that shows that he has been zeutered. We keep it on his collar with his name tag, rabies tag and microchip tag. He sounds like a jingle bell!

    • jay
      June 2, 2013 | 4:12 pm

      on a long-haired dog they would shave the area before neutering them.

  18. [...] your dog? I thought this sounded promising. Maybe it will be the neuter of the future. Zeutering: Now FDA Approved Chemical Castration for Dogs | The Dogington Post Non-surgical Neutering — FAQ — Ark Sciences ( Zinc Gluconate Neutralized by Arginine–FDA [...]

    • Gene Larson
      April 16, 2012 | 4:36 pm

      What I’m trying to learn is how the sterilization actually happens. If the injection essentially “kills” the testicle, I seriously question what the long term effects will be. The evidence seems clear that traditional neutering lessens chances of cancer in the future and helps control some undesirable (from a human viewpoint) behavior of intact males. This whole thing sounds like it needs a good deal more study before, as Debby said, it is released for wide use.

      • Doris
        March 4, 2013 | 10:16 am

        My concern would also be the undesireable (humping) actions of unneutered dogs. Would this Zeutering eliminate this desire or not.

        • kathy
          March 20, 2013 | 2:22 pm

          Humping is behavior and you train them NO. Too many times people use neutering as a training tatic becaue people are too lazy to train the dog not to hump…..

        • Reisa Stone
          June 19, 2013 | 5:13 am

          Neutered animals do this, too. It’s a matter of training.

        • shelbel
          February 22, 2014 | 11:12 pm

          the woman in the video said several of the undesirable traits were gone in the 30 days- same as regular neuter.

  19. Debbie Doyle
    April 16, 2012 | 12:27 pm

    *** NOT “euthanized” I meant “anesthetized” – sorry, damn auto correct :(

  20. Debbie Doyle
    April 16, 2012 | 12:24 pm

    Contrary to popular belief male dogs do NOT get testicular cancer from not being neutered – this is a wives tale and scare tactic that has been propogated to get everyone to neuter their dogs. The occasional dog might, the vast majority do not. Allowing the dog to keep his hormones to live his life in a naturally balanced body results in a healthier life and a healthier dog. Also, not being euthanized is a big bonus for the dog as well. The amount of money that rescues can save is tremendous. However, I would like to know of the long term effects of this procedure and be sure that it will not cause the dog some horrific side effect later on. Before this is offered en mass to the general public, the test group should be followed for many more years.

    • Debbie Jacobs
      May 4, 2012 | 8:50 pm

      I’m not certain where you get your information. Testicular cancer is one of the most common tumors in older intact male dogs, although it can occur in intact males of any age. The overall incidence of testicular cancer is not very high because of the large number of male dogs that are neutered. These tumors are common in dogs that are intact. Eliminating the risk of testicular cancer is just one reason to neuter your dogs. Between 4 – 5 million dogs are killed every year in shelters. Spaying and neutering will greatly reduce the number of dogs killed. There is no excuse not to spay and neuter.

      • Kelly
        April 9, 2013 | 2:37 pm

        I don’t think you can call something that occurs in roughly 7% of intact dogs “common”. That’s 7% of INTACT dogs, not all male dogs. And, unlike Osteosarcoma (which IS much more common in neutered dogs), it has a cure rate of 90%. I’m not against neutering, I’m just FOR scientific facts and against hype and fear mongering.

        • Mason Blair
          October 31, 2013 | 4:06 pm

          Overpopulation is the more serious threat here.
          There’s no reason other than ignorance to refuse to spay/neuter a dog.

        • Mason Blair
          October 31, 2013 | 4:09 pm

          Kelly, would you mind citing your source for that statistic?
          Not disagreeing, I just can’t find it anywhere (accredited) on the internet and I’d like the read that for myself.

          • Joe Lemmons
            February 10, 2014 | 9:16 am

            Look up, “Canine testicular tumours: a study on 232 dogs.” I’ll include a link to the abstract at the bottom, but they may remove it from the posting. The fact is that recent studies have found the prevalence in dogs with both testes to be even higher than thought in the 1962 study. This study puts the percentage of dogs with testicle tumors (non-castrated) at 27%. The amount of cancerous tumors would be less, but either way dogs with no testicles would have 0% of those tumors. It is not a “wives tale” at all and any attempt to make claim that it is would be arrogant and ignorant!

            There are many doctors that have posted regarding the FACT that dogs with testicles have a high rate of testicular cancer and or tumors. But, the article I put the link to is one of the few with scientific backing.

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18295787

        • shelbel
          February 22, 2014 | 11:11 pm

          mmm, no, kelly. in all my years of senior rescue, ONE case of osteo comes to mind. and all the rest that aren’t lucky enough to fall into the laps of rescue ARE KILLED. we are better than this (you wouldn’t think so, but we are. we have got to be.)

      • Jeff
        January 20, 2014 | 10:44 am

        I hear all the time about testicular cancer being this monster problem in male dogs, but no one cites sources of their information. I deal with dogs all the time for work, and I have yet to have come across a male dog with testicular cancer. It has been 40 years now, and the “epidemic of testicular cancer” still has not crossed my doorstep.

        Please consider what a cash cow spays and neuters are when you consider what is the “truth”

        Here is a vet explaining that spay and neuter is not the health benefit that so many are saying it is.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enPCZA1WFKY

        NOW, here is a video saying that spay and neuter is a huge health benefit, again, the thing that bugs me here is this is generic, the woman shown may or may not be a vet, and in my opinion is just a spokesperson, citing no sources for her propaganda. ( ha ha harsh term, I know, I just love the word )

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6dVl3rNp7s

      • shelbel
        February 22, 2014 | 11:08 pm

        every vet i have ever had in 20 years, across 8 states have all echoed the same FACT: testicular cancer is RAMPANT in intact males.

        you want an excuse to keep them intact? INSANITY. YOURS.

        stop being a selfish moron.

  21. Gene Larson
    April 4, 2012 | 11:37 am

    How does this procedure impact the long-term benefits from removing testosterone from the picture. I agree this may be a good way to promote canine birth control, but I wonder what the long-term effects will be? Testicular cancer is common in dogs that have not been neutered in the traditional manner.

    • Debbie Magnin
      June 17, 2013 | 1:01 pm

      is this being done in Canada yet??? i so want to get my dogs done and gene dogs getting cancer from being unneutered is a crock there has been no scientific proof that it has ever happened. and can this be done for females and what about male cats?? can it be done for them???

      • shelbel
        February 22, 2014 | 11:03 pm

        debbie, verifiable FACT: a dog with testicles is 70% more likely to get cancer in them. don’t know what rock you have been under, but i’m guessing your dogs aren’t neutered….

    • Johnny B Goode
      February 10, 2014 | 9:29 am

      Long-term benefits of removing testosterone? There is one and only reason to neuter a dog: population control. That’s it. As a human male who has a particularly acute case of testosterone deficiency and has for a lifetime, I can assure you that there is no “benefit” to cutting off a hormone that is critical to a normal, healthy body. Obviously neutering would eliminate any chance of testicular cancer, but that is such an absurd reason to do it on its own, especially considering all the NEGATIVE consequences that the loss of testosterone brings.

      • shelbel
        February 22, 2014 | 11:06 pm

        *alert* unless you are a PET, stop equating dog balls with human balls. PETS DO NOT NEED THEM.we have been very healthily neutering dogs for a long time now….the proof is out there.

        sorry about your…..deficiency, but this is not about you. or humans.

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