Many vets are not familiar with hormone balancing, but they can do well once they familiarize themselves with the products available to them. It’s just a matter of developing a comfort level with what works for each vet, dog and guardian. We are not vets and you will need to develop a working relationship with a vet in order to balance your dog’s hormones effectively. We provide this information to help flatten the learning curve for the vet and the guardian who are new to this.
The first ground rule is that you want to supplement to normal physiologic levels of any hormone. Essentially, you want to bring the dog’s hormone levels to where they would have been had they never been altered. Testosterone is available in different formulations, and this varies with where you are in the world.
Generally, testosterone is injected intramuscularly (e.g. in the muscle of a rear leg), or subcutaneously (much like your dog’s vaccinations). Testosterone Cypionate is the most commonly prescribed form of testosterone in the United States of America. Most places in the world defer to the very similar Testosterone Enanthate. Both are long-acting. When this long-acting version of testosterone is injected, it becomes stored in what is known as a depot in the body, and slowly released over a short period of time. Peaking within 1-2 days after injection, the testosterone is then steadily released over the next 12 days and completely tapers out after approximately 3 weeks. Monthly dose is generally 1.7 mg/kg, or if injected weekly the dose is generally 0.5 mg/kg to maintain testosterone levels equivalent to an intact male dog.
There are also blended formulations of testosterone which offer the advantage of stepped release to theoretically provide a more constant level of testosterone with less frequent injections.
SUSTANON 250 (also marketed as OMNADREN 250) is the most common oil-based injectable found in Europe and Australia. Sustanon 250 contains four different testosterone compounds:
- testosterone propionate 30 mg (short-acting)
- testosterone phenylpropionate 60 mg (medium to long-acting)
- testosterone isocaproate 60mg (medium to long-acting)
- testosterone decanoate 100 mg (medium to long-acting)
(Side effects of Sustanon 250 are, for the same amount of testosterone, identical to other testosterone esters such as Testosterone Enanthate. The dose rate for the Sustanon 250 reported to us by vets is 0.1-0.2ml/10kg.)
DURATESTON 50 (available in Brazil) includes per ml:
- testosterone propionate 6 mg (short-acting)
- testosterone phenylpropionate 12 mg (medium to long-acting)
- testosterone methylpantanoate 12 mg
- testosterone decanote 20 mg (medium to long-acting)
Some guardians want to avoid injections. In Australia and parts of Europe testosterone undecanoate supplements have been available in capsule form. The availability of these capsules changes constantly.
Often guardians are wondering if they can utilize gel as some humans do. The best opportunity to utilize a gel would be to have your vet contact a compounding pharmacy near you, or one that provides delivery service. Dr. Karen Becker recently posted an article about compounding pharmacies that may be helpful not only for this situation, but could be helpful in other situations where your dog does not do well with medications as they are generally formulated.