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Phytoestrogen treatment induces testis alterations in dogs. Potential use in population control

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Dog overpopulation is considered a human health risk; they are the terrestrial vector of rabies and reservoirs for other human diseases. Surgical neutering and intratesticular injections have been used in male dogs. Physiological and morphological alterations in reproductive organs can be induced by phytoestrogens. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of oral coumestrol on dog ejaculates and testis histology. Two groups of 5 healthy adult dogs were used. One coumestrolcontaining biscuit was given once a week for a 4 week period to the experimental group. Ejaculates were obtained and evaluated. After treatment, testis were obtained and processed for histology. Compared to controls, treated dogs have reduced tubules (462 ± 1.4 vs 336 ± 2 μ2), spermatogenic epithelium (49.1 ± 0.01 vs 13.3 ± 0.01 μ2), and lumen opening (891 ± 1.4 vs 530 ± 26.9 μ). Ejaculates from treated animals have increased numbers of abnormal spermatozoa and reduced sperm concentration.

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Correspondence to Hector Serrano.

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Perez-Rivero, J., Martinez-Maya, J., Perez-Martinez, M. et al. Phytoestrogen treatment induces testis alterations in dogs. Potential use in population control. Vet Res Commun 33, 87–95 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-008-9077-3

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  • Canine overpopulation
  • Contraception
  • Testis alterations
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Coumestrol