An Evaluation of Pinhole Castration as an Alternative Technique for Dog Population Control in Resource-Poor Communities
We evaluated pinhole castration as an alternative technique for dog population control in resource poor rural communities of Gulu, Northern Uganda. Through a campaign dubbed ‘Big Fix Gulu’, households in selected communities were mobilized using radio announcements, posters and school visits, to present dogs for mass sterilization during community mobile spay/neuter clinics. All male dogs presented were sterilized using the pinhole method under xylazine-thiopental anesthesia. Castrated dogs were closely monitored for up to five days after castration. In 12 days, 278 dogs were castrated. The mean duration for pinhole procedure was 11.4 minutes. Duration of pinhole castration reduced significantly (p<0.05) with increase in dog weight. Each pinhole procedure cost approximately 2.12 United States dollars. The cost significantly (p<0.05) increased with increase in dog weight. Post-operative complications were reported in 23 (8.30%) dogs 2-3 days after castration. These included painful swelling of the testes and dullness of castrated dogs. There was unilateral testicular atrophy in two (0.72%) cases three (3) months after castration. We concluded that pinhole castration is indeed a simple, cheap and effective alternative for mass dog castration; the technique could be adopted for dog population in developing countries.
Keywords: Dogs, mass sterilization, poor communities, pinhole castration