On its way: The no-scalpel spay
Let’s say there was a way for you to spay your cat without surrendering her to surgery. Would you do it? Would you neuter your dog via pill or injection
If you’re anything like me (as I suspect you are) you’ll wait a few years once this currently non-existent technology comes to market before exposing your pet to its potentially unsatisfactory effects.
But it would undoubtedly be worth it if it proved successful and safe, right?
Though it would probably temper my surgical skills somewhat, I would happily give up my scalpel in favor of a method less drastic. After all, the side effects of a spay or neuter aren’t exactly non-existent.
But forget about you and me and our individual pets. How great would it be to provide one injection and thereby sterilize a stray?
What a boon to the pet overpopulation problem if we could devise a permanent method like this whereby unwanted pets could not reproduce. Imagine how much easier it would be to TNR (trap-neuter-return) our feral colony cats. Adopting from the shelter? Unless you elect to pay extra for the surgical approach your pet goes home after getting “the shot,” “the pill”…whatever.
I’m not the only person who sees the enormous value of such a method. Two individuals have partnered to offer a $75 MM “reward” for bagging a non-surgical approach to pet sterilization.
While $50MM is structured as a source for grants made to worthy projects in this arena, another $25MM is a flat-out prize for the inventor. An interesting side-note is that two human docs are behind this money. (God knows I’ve never met a vet so rich.)
This money will undoubtedly advance veterinary medicine’s version of the “race for the cure.” (Pardon the use of the cancer metaphor but euthanasia of strays kills millions more pets than cancer does every year.)
While such incentives might be commonplace in the world of human-related technology and medicine, few such offers have trickled down to their veterinary counterparts. It appears than the pet overpopulation problem has become a higher-profile exception to the rule in certain enlightened circles.
How about you? How would you feel about a non-surgical spay and neuter?