Canine Reproduction Services Provided

Canine Reproduction - Animal Hospital of East Davie
  • Breeding education and counseling
  • Male and female breeding soundness exams
  • Ovulation timing with in-house progesterone testing
  • Artificial insemination (vaginal and transcervical)
  • Semen collection/evaluation and chilled shipment
  • Male and female infertility workups
  • Pregnancy diagnosis and management
  • Cesarean section

Frequently Asked Questions

The #1 reason for missed pregnancies or perceived “infertility” is a lack of appropriate timing. Ovulation timing uses repeat vaginal cytology evaluation and progesterone testing to determine a bitch’s window of fertility and her optimal breeding dates. Progesterone testing pinpoints the day of her LH surge and subsequent ovulation, and tracks cycle progression. It is also helpful in determining her due date if she does become pregnant.

A bitch should be seen 5-6 days after she begins spotting to perform initial staging and to determine a plan of action based on the type of semen being used, the method of insemination, and the availability of the stud dog. We have in-house progesterone testing and receive same-day results.

During a vaginal AI, a small, semi-flexible catheter with an expandable balloon is placed in the vagina, ending close to the cervical opening. The balloon is inflated, mimicking the bulbus glandis of a male dog during a natural breeding, and semen is placed just in front of the cervix. This method of insemination is a great option for dogs with good fertility that are unable to be bred naturally.

TCI is a non-invasive method of artificial insemination that bypasses the cervix and deposits sperm directly in the uterus, without the potential complications of surgical insemination and with no general anesthesia required. This technique can be used for any type of semen (fresh, chilled, or frozen), and is one of the primary options for frozen or poor-quality semen.

Bitches are typically inseminated while standing, and with no need for sedation. An endoscope is placed in the vagina and used to visualize the cervix, and a small catheter is passed through the cervical opening and up a uterine horn, where the semen is deposited. The procedure is painless and non-inflammatory, and can be performed more than once during a cycle.

A pregnancy ultrasound should be performed between 24-28 days after the day of the LH surge, if ovulation timing was used. If a bitch was bred naturally with no timing, an ultrasound should be performed between 26-28 days after the last breeding. Ultrasound is the optimal method to confirm pregnancy and evaluate fetal health, and can sometimes provide a rough estimate of litter size. However, a late-term x-ray is necessary during the last week of pregnancy to get an accurate puppy count.
For bitches that will be whelping naturally, an x-ray should be performed during the last week of pregnancy to get an accurate puppy count and to compare fetal size to the bitch’s birth canal. If it is a very small litter (< 2 puppies) and/or the puppies are too large, a cesarean section will likely be necessary.