An Australian company launched a drug Thursday that eliminates the need to castrate dogs, with what it claims is the world's first pet contraceptive.
Peptech Ltd. said the drug suprelorin releases a hormone into male dog's bloodstream that reduces testosterone levels and renders them infertile.
The drug is administered through an implant under the dog's skin and the process is reversible, according to the manufacturer.
Peptech manager Tim Trigg said castration was often recommended by vets for health reasons but many empathetic owners were reluctant to give their canine companions the chop.
"Some male owners, particularly those with macho breeds of dogs, are not keen to castrate their pets," Trigg said.
"A quick and easy implant gives them a more humane, cost-effective choice that leaves their dogs intact but is equally efficacious."
Trigg said the drug had been approved for use in Australia and New Zealand but the long-term plan was to break into the European and US markets.
"Marketing success in Australia will assist us to launch the product in the USA and Europe, which have 56 million and 30 million pet dogs respectively," Trigg said.
He said trials showed suprelorin was also effective in controlling populations of elephants, lions, cheetahs, monkeys, dolphins, seals, koalas and kangaroos.