Injections Can Help Aging Dogs
A new experimental treatment could provide the fountain of youth...for dogs. A Florida veterinarian, Dr. David Bieber, is now offering testosterone injections as a way to improve health and extend the life of older male dogs. Dr. Bieber says he stumbled upon the treatment when trying to find a way to help his own dog, who was struggling to move around as he got older. The treatments returned the dog's testosterone levels to normal and allowed him to live another four years. KTRH pet expert Dr. Brian Beale with Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists says the underlying theory behind the treatment makes sense. "As dogs age, their testosterone can go down, and certainly if dogs are neutered, their testosterone can go down as well."
That doesn't mean that Dr. Beale is ready to completely embrace the treatment. "It's very intriguing," he says. "But we have to keep in mind (these results) can be just coincidental, and certainly don't prove that it's effective." At the very least, Dr. Beale would like to see more research done before the treatment is put into wide use. "I think it's a little bit dangerous to just start injecting every dog that's over 10 years of age with testosterone, because there are potential side effects that can happen," he says.
As of now, testosterone injections are not medically approved for use in animals, but Dr. Beale says they can still happen. "As long as there is owner consent, and you inform the owner of the theory and intention behind it, it's certainly a legal thing to do." The testosterone treatments cost $50 to $60 and have to be repeated every four to six weeks.
Listen to Your Pet's Health with Dr. Brian Beale Sundays at 8 p.m. on Newsradio 740 KTRH