Parsemus Foundation is proud to award the second round of the Timmy Prize to Amici Cannis (USA/Ecuador), SpayFIRST! (Oklahoma, USA), and a veterinary/owner team in California, USA. Each winner contributed substantial information to increase our understanding of the use of Calchlorin nonsurgical sterilant, helping to refine methodology and gauge effectiveness.
The Timmy Prize for Calchlorin data sharing
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."
Second prize, $4,000, goes to Spay FIRST! of Oklahoma for photographic data on treatment of scrotal skin irritations, should they occur. Sterile scrotal abscesses, which can occur occasionally especially as veterinarians perfect their technique, resolve quickly just by keeping the area clean and dry, without apparent distress to the dog. Traditional castration can also be performed on dogs with complications, but in Spay FIRST!'s experience with over 1,000 Calchlorin injections in dogs, this has not been necessary. Extensive information on best practices, as well as how to treat any skin complications, is available for download on the nonsurgical sterilization page at Spay FIRST's website, http://www.
Third prize, $3,000, goes to a goat owner and veterinarian in Davis, CA for valuable information that calcium chloride/alcohol sterilization is not always effective or trouble-free in animals with larger testicles. The goat had testicles about 4 cm across, larger than the testicles on most dogs, and a dose of Calchlorin about 5 times the dog dose was used. At this large dose, leakage was experienced on the left side; the goat displayed signs of discomfort that were successfully treated with antibiotic and painkiller. Due to concern for the health and wellbeing of the animal, the owner and veterinarian immediately opted for surgical castration to prevent any further complications. After castration, both testicles were examined; the calcium chloride/alcohol sterilant had not spread evenly throughout the entire testicular tissue, and the left testicle had more normal live tissue then the right testicle. After recovery, the owner reported that the goat's behavior is back to normal. The data submission provides valuable information that although calcium chloride has been used successfully to sterilize young goats in the past, success is much more likely with smaller testicles more similar to the testicular size for dogs. The goat owner has designated Rocket Dog Rescue, San Francisco, CA as the recipient of the prize.
Next round of competition
The third and final round of the data submission contest will be open this fall. Rescue organizations and shelters wishing to submit data can find all the needed information at Parsemus Foundation's website and will find a due-diligence checklist at Calchlorin.org .
About Parsemus Foundation: Parsemus Foundation works to advance innovative and neglected medical research. The foundation supports studies and then seeks to raise awareness of results, to ensure that they change treatment practice rather than disappear into the scientific literature. Many of the studies the foundation supports involve low-cost approaches that are not under patent, and thus unlikely to be pursued by pharmaceutical companies due to limited profit potential. More information on Parsemus Foundation and the work presented here can be found at: http://www.