Practical use of hormones in small animal reproduction

Stefano Romagnoli


The abortifacient efficacy of prostaglandin F2alpha products (PGF) involves induction of luteolysis, stimulation of uterine contraction and cervical dilation. PGF will induce luteolysis and depress progesterone (P4) concentrations to nearly non-detectable levels very easily after day 25 or 30 following just a 4-5 day course of treatment. PGF can be used also earlier in pregnancy provided that the onset of cytological diestrus is timed precisely and treatment course is longer than 5 days. With late abortion, the treatment must be continued until verification of efficacy by ultrasound as partial abortion of litters can occur. Other uses of PGF include shortening of diestrus in bitches, emptying the uterine content and improving semen quality in dogs. Antiprolactin agents include dopamine agonists (bromocriptine or cabergoline), and serotonin antagonists (metergoline). Anti-prolactin drugs can be used to control pseudopregnancy, induce abortion and the resumption of estrus. Antiemetic (metoclopramide and domperidone) and antipsychotic drugs (chlorpromazine and sulpiride) have prolactin release properties which are widely documented in human medicine; their clinical efficacy in the treatment of agalactia or hypogalactia is anecdotally reported also in bitches and queens. Aglepristone saturates P4 receptors causing abortion when administered at the dose of 10 mg/kg twice 24 hours apart. The early administration of aglepristone at 0 to 25 days after mating is approximately 99% effective in prevention of pregnancy; however, care should be taken when using it without having assayed serum P4 or after day 35 of pregnancy. Aglepristone can be used for several other purposes among which induction of parturition and treatment of feline mammary hypertrophy. The clinical use of other hormonal drugs such as estrogens and sympatho-mimetics for conditions such as urinary incontinence and retrograde ejaculation is briefly discussed.


Homonal theraphy; dogs; cats

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