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IUD For Cattle Is An Alternative To Spaying
South Dakota veterinarian Scott Cammack has developed a simple intrauterine device (IUD) that he says can replace spaying as a method to prevent pregnancies in female cattle. Cammack says “spaying is a process that guarantees infertility, but it can lead to internal bleeding and occasional mortality. The animal that has the procedure also has lost the ability to produce hormones that are beneficial for growth. With this IUD, the animal retains its ovaries and is able to produce hormones that allow normal growth on pasture or in a feedlot.”
  Cammack makes the IUD out of copper and nylon. It prevents a female animal from conceiving, yet it doesn’t affect the animal’s health. The copper is a small piece about the diameter of a lead pencil and an inch long. A nylon cross section that holds the device in place is about 2 in. long. Cammack says the IUD is easy to place in the animal with a modified version of the tool used for artificial insemination (AI).
  “The IUD is inserted in the cervix and held in place by the nylon. It isn’t painful to the animal, there is no incision or surgery required, and it works very effectively,” Cammack says. “The copper is toxic to sperm, but not the animal. If subjected to sperm it causes an irritation to the uterine lining so the egg won’t implant. This interaction creates an inhospitable environment and the egg won’t be fertilized and can’t develop into an embryo.”
  Cammack says his IUD is ideal for cow/calf ranchers who are spaying female beef cattle that aren’t intended for breeding stock. The ranchers want to prevent unwanted pregnancies in female cattle that eventually are sold as market weight beef. “Spayed animals also gain weight slower and require more feed to reach market weight,” he says.
  Cammack is planning a study in 2013 to compare the gain on IUD heifers and a group that has been spayed. “I believe the intact animals with this device can gain about 20 to 30 pounds more than a spayed animal in three months.”
  Cammack says he’s hoping the IUD can also be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies in female horses. “Our testing shows the device can be used as temporary birth control, and when it’s removed, the animal can become pregnant.”
  Cammack has a patent pending on the IUD. He says it will sell for $4 and can be inserted by a technician for a small fee, or by a rancher who has practiced AI.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dr. Scott Cammack, 20858 Vanocker Canyon Rd., Sturgis, S. Dak. 57785 (ph 605 423-6027; scammack@hotmail.com).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2