"The prize, offered by California-based nonprofit Parsemus Foundation, is named in honor of Timmy, the beloved dog of the two donors who sponsored the prize. It provides an online form for new users to submit their experience on the use of Calchlorin (short for calcium chloride in ethyl alcohol neuter injection), and is meant to encourage sharing and transparency of data. The first prizes were awarded this spring:
Chemical sterilization is not a new idea, and calcium chloride has been studied sporadically in animals for over 50 years. But two 2014 studies completed in Italy changed the playing field. Dr. Raffaella Leoci's team identified the optimal solution (20% calcium chloride in alcohol) to result in safe, permanent sterilization in dogs, producing reduction in testosterone and loss of male dog sexual behavior.
Because the universally-available method is not patentable and there is very little profit potential, no company is sponsoring it or spreading data. "Market approaches can solve a lot, but in this case, we saw a need that wasn't being filled," said Elaine Lissner, executive director of Parsemus Foundation. "As word spreads about Calchlorin across the globe, it is important that we are able to gather the experience of frontline users to increase its safe and effective use."
Calchlorin proves useful in large-scale neuter program in Ecuador
The first prize, $5,000, goes to nonprofit animal welfare organization Amici Cannis for submitting data on 107 Calchlorin nonsurgical neuters as part of a volunteer effort in Cotacachi, Ecuador. The low-cost injection allowed the organization to extend its reach, offering services to many more owners and their dogs than would otherwise be possible.
"The people seemed very happy that there was no surgery needed and were okay with us sedating the dogs. They were patient during the sedation recovery and very understanding about the procedure," commented Amici Cannis staff. "The culture seemed open to the dogs being better behaved, roaming less and much healthier with the removal of the testosterone source."
The entirely donation-funded and largely volunteer-run organization was happy with the outcome-- exponentially more services provided, with only three scrotal skin/ licking complications out of 107 neuters, all of which resolved uneventfully with antibiotics. The lead veterinarian, a volunteer from Colorado, reports "We had a total of 5 veterinarians that were performing the technique, and I think that is a pretty low complication rate considering it was a new procedure to all of us!"
Given the very limited facilities in the small Ecaudorian towns, only calcium chloride injectable (which does not require a surgical suite or expensive anesthesia equipment) could be offered during this initial campaign. Amici Cannis plans to use the prize award to purchase an anesthetic machine for female spays. "Unfortunately we had a large number of people show up with female dogs and they couldn't understand why we couldn't spay them during these clinics. Now we will be able to perform spay and non-surgical castration side by side and be able to handle a much larger number of dogs.""