U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

October 2002


Published in Reproduction Supplement 60, 53-64.


The efficacy of three oral formulations (gelatin capsule, tablet, oil base) and five dosages (50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 μg) of cabergoline to disrupt reproduction in coyotes (Canis latrans) was evaluated. The type of formulation used had no effect on plasma progesterone and prolactin concentrations or on mean litter size. No adverse side effects (for example, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea) were observed despite the use of doses of up to 20 times the therapeutic dose used for domestic dogs and cats. All coyotes treated with 50, 100, 250 and 500 μg cabergoline whelped, but plasma progesterone concentrations in these coyotes were lower (P ≤ 0.07) than in control animals at day 7 after treatment. Ten of 11 females treated with 1000 yg cabergoline whelped, but progesterone concentrations in these coyotes were lower than in control animals up to day 14 after treatment ( P ≤ 0.04). Dosages of 1 000 μg cabergoline decreased blood serum prolactin (P ≤ 0.1 0) and progesterone (P ≤ 0.06) concentrations, but apparently failed to decrease progesterone below the threshold necessary to maintain pregnancy in all but one animal. However, progressive inhibition of prolactin and progesterone with increasing doses of cabergoline indicated that higher dosages might be effective in coyotes. Survival of pups born to cabergoline-treated females was not different (P < 0.001) from that of pups born to control females, but mean litter size was smaller for females treated with cabergoline (P ≤ 0.073) than for the control females. Although all cabergoline treatments in this study were ineffective at preventing reproduction in coyotes, progressive inhibition of prolactin and progesterone with increasing dosages of cabergoline indicates that higher doses might be effective in preventing reproduction in coyotes. However, the physiological differences from other canine species in dopamine D2 receptors and mechanisms of luteal support may ultimately prevent the use of cabergoline for reproductive control in coyotes.