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Zinc Gluconate/Arginine (Neutersol®)

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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  • Zinc Gluconate/Arginine (Neutersol®) is an FDA -approved injectable sterilant for puppies age 3 to 10 months.
  • Its active ingredient, zinc gluconate, causes atrophy of the testes and the prostate, rendering male puppies sterile.
  • According to the manufacturer, Neutersol® is a safe, effective, and convenient alternative to surgical castration and is 99.6% effective.
  • Zinc Gluconate/Arginine should only be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Employing Neutersol® for castration takes a fraction of the time of surgical castration. Neutering by this means can be performed as an outpatient procedure. No sutures are necessary.
  • Zinc Gluconate/Arginine is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian and should only be administered by a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • This drug is registered for use in dogs only.
  • Human formulations: None
  • Veterinary formulations: Neutersol® (Addison Biological Laboratory)

    Uses of Zinc Gluconate/Arginine

  • Zinc Gluconate/Arginine is used for chemical castration ("sterilization") of male dogs 3 to 10 months of age

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • Injections must be properly placed. In dogs that are likely to struggle, sedatives should be employed.
  • A small percentage of dogs vocalize following injection.
  • Post-procedural vomiting occurs within 1 minute to 4 hours of injection in approximately 4% of pups. Food for should be withheld for 12 hours prior to injection to help prevent vomiting.
  • Other possible systemic reactions include an increase in the white blood cell count, anorexia, lethargy, and diarrhea. These reactions generally occur about a week after injection.
  • Scrotal pain was elicited by testicular palpation in 5% of the pups 1 day after the injection, 2% after 2 days, and <1% on the 3rd day. Scrotal irritation or dermatitis occurs in approximately 2% of pups following injection. Mild, temporary swelling of the testes is an expected reaction to the injection, which owners will notice within 24 to 48 hours of the injection. The pup's testes may remain slightly enlarged for a few months after the injection.
  • Puppies continue to produce sperm for up to 60 days following the procedure. They should be kept away from bitches during this time. Unlike surgical castration, puppies treated with Neutersol retain their testes. Testosterone production is not completely halted following the bilateral injection though testosterone blood levels are reduced by 41% to 52%. Because of the presence of testosterone, the risk of diseases processes promoted by testosterone, e.g. certain prostatic diseases and testicular or perianal tumors, may remain unaltered. Also, male behaviors such as roaming, marking, aggression, or mounting in dogs may not be reduced as effectively as following surgical castration.

    Home Care

  • It is critical to monitor scrotal irritation and inflammation post-procedurally and to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent the pup from licking or biting its scrotal area.
  • It is also important to monitor the pup's appetite and activity level to ensure its continued well-being.
  • Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they notice the puppy biting or licking its scrotal area or if they see signs of redness, discharge or ulcerated skin in the scrotal region.
  • For seven days after release from the veterinary facility owners should:

    - Restrict the pup's exercise to leash walking.
    - Not allow the pup to run, jump, or engage in play activity.
    - Not allow the pup to lie on hard or wet surfaces.
    - Try to prevent the pup licking or biting its scrotal area.

    How Zinc Gluconate/Arginine is Supplied

  • Zinc gluconate 100 mg/mL solution. Each milliliter of solution contains 13.1 milligrams zinc as zinc gluconate neutralized to pH 7.0 with L-arginine.

    Dosing Information

  • One injection of Zinc Gluconate/Arginine (Neutersol®) is placed into each testicle. The volume injected is based on the testicular width as determined by measuring each testicle at its widest point using a metric scale (millimeter) caliper.

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