Since Ovarid (an Oestrus control tablet) was discontinued last year, breeders of Burmese cats have found their queens becoming increasingly stressed due to them not being mated. The Burmese breed are renowned for regular and strong heat cycles and when not mated they can become stressed and lose condition. This issue has been raised at the recent Veterinary Advisory Committee meeting and there is a poll of Facebook where you can cast your vote.
Breeders who support the introduction of an Ovarid alternative are being encouraged to show their support by emailing Dr Moreland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the official statement from the GCCF Facebook page and you can cast your vote by visiting their page.
Dear GCCF Breeder
Oestrus control was one of the subjects discussed at the recent Veterinary Advisory Committee meeting. This mostly concerned megestrol acetate (Ovarid) being no longer available to breeders, as queries have come in from clubs and individual breeders to see if there was anything GCCF could do about it. There’s a particular problem in the breeds where queens call frequently and become increasingly stressed if not mated.
Megestrol acetate is still available as a human drug. Enquiries have been made with a company to reformulate it in a smaller dose size (ie 1.25 or 2.5mg) than the original 5mg tablet breeders are familiar with as Ovarid. This would make it easier to give the correct dose to cats. However, although the company does not require large orders, it is necessary for a formal request to be made by vets (which the VAC is happy to do as representative of breeders) and to show there is a demand.
Therefore, if you you would like to use it again, or just support the idea of breeders being able to obtain it, please say so and reply to Dr Moreland, the GCCF Veterinary Officer. You can pass on the message to friends who register with other organisations to make contact as well, as every response will count.
Sue Moreland email@example.com
It was also brought to the VAC’s attention that the drug can be purchased from Eastern Europe. It would not be a legal import so there is the possibility that a purchase would be confiscated by customs and the buyer could be liable to prosecution. There are also risks of inefficacy and toxicity in buying from an illegal source. In addition, the 10mg size is far too big for cats and would need to be divided by the user; so there could be no guarantee that the active ingredients would be evenly distributed in each portion even if it was possible to divide them into the 1/4s or 1/8s required for cats. The VAC strongly advise against buying this or any other unlicensed medicine on the internet.
Because of these factors breeders are advised not to take the risk. It would be so much better if we could obtain an Ovarid equivalent via a vet from a reputable company in the UK. If this would be your choice, please be counted in.