Male Reproductive Program

As with many things, “timing is everything”, especially when it comes to canine reproduction. VMC is available for patients

7 days a week

when reproductive procedures cannot wait, such as artificial inseminations, TCIs, semen collection for fresh-chilled shipments and emergency caesarean sections. (Please Note: After hours emergency c-sections are available ONLY to patients that have been bred by us. For these patients, VMC will assemble a team to respond appropriately.)

Please click on the below male reproduction icons for more information about a particular topic. If you are ready to get started on a breeding program, please call us to schedule a prebreeding examination.

The Pre-Breeding Examination

To determine whether the dog is capable of producing quality semen. This is important for both first-time breedings and for those males that have not been used for breeding for over one year. It is also recommended when planning to send out chilled semen for an upcoming breeding.

The prebreeding exam includes an evaluation of the medical and reproductive history, a physical examination, and a reproductive examination including semen collection with complete evaluation. When planning a chilled semen breeding, we can also perform a chill test and evaluate the semen for quality after 24 and 48 hours. We will also draw blood for canine brucellosis testing when indicated and if not performed within the last 6 months. (Brucella is a bacteria that is transmitted by exposure to infected respiratory secretions, semen and urine, so even previously unused dogs should be tested)

Medical records of any prior semen evaluations and general health information that may be important for the upcoming breeding. Ideally, if you can also provide a “teaser-female dog” (a female in estrus) for that exam, the semen collection process may be more successful and produce more semen.

Usually 1-2 months prior to the upcoming breeding. This will allow for time to repeat the exam if the semen quality is in question and to possibly treat a problem if diagnosed.

We are available for patients 7 days a week when reproductive procedures cannot wait, such as artificial inseminations, TCIs, semen collection for fresh-chilled shipments and emergency caesarean sections. If you are ready to begin a breeding program for your dog, please call us for a pre-breeding exam appointment.

Canine Semen Freezing

VMC’s semen freezing center is affiliated with Zoetis. Semen is transferred 1-3 months after freezing, at no cost to the owner, to Zoetis in Kansas City, MO for storage. Zoetis will bill the semen owner for storage.

Freezing semen is a good way to preserve bloodlines for future use. It is also beneficial for dogs with a rigorous or demanding event schedule. Storing semen on a dog prior to sending them out with a handler ensures good quality semen available at any time. Freezing semen is also a way to continue using a valuable stud dog after neutering.

While older dogs can still be collected and stored, a younger stud’s sperm is more resilient and survives the freezing process better. The best age has been found to be between the ages of 2 and 6 years old.

It is helpful to have a female in heat present (teaser). Some dogs may take more than one attempt for a collection, but this is rare. If your stud has not been used for several months we recommend he be collected then wait 2 weeks before obtaining the “keeper” sample. Likewise, if a dog has been very active as a stud it may be wise to rest him for a week or so to obtain the best sample. The importance of these factors will vary greatly from dog to dog.

The collection process will usually last 30 minutes or less, at which point the owner can leave. However, the analysis and freezing procedure will take us several hours. Please have the proper paper documentation ready upon request. Having a “teaser” female (in heat) usually will be helpful to interest the male and increase libido.

This will vary from dog to dog and collection to collection. A normal dog’s sperm count is from 200 million up to 1 to 2 billion. Each collection will be somewhat different. Other factors critical in determining the number of breeding units will be 1) % normal sperm 2)% motile sperm 3)% motile sperm on test thaw after freezing. All of these factors will be considered to determine the proper number of breeding units. Remember, splitting into a higher number of breeding units should only be performed if the proper number of normal, active sperm permit it. Smaller breeds can present a challenge due to the lower sperm counts.

In the event that we determine a semen sample is less than optimal, we will contact you before proceeding with the freezing process. Should you wish to proceed we will note our discussion on your paperwork and continue per your request. Should you wish to stop or try for another sample on a different day, we will charge you only for our time and materials up to that point in the process.

Both are acceptable and successful methods for freezing semen. Many times the people that use straws say their method is best and those who utilize pellets say their way is best. We use the straw method. The method may not be as critical as the individual performing the procedure and their adherence to proper techniques in freezing, storing, thawing, insemination, and timing of the breedings.

While most dogs will allow themselves to be collected when a female teaser is present, occasionally certain dogs will not permit it. Sometimes a followup visit will find the dog less apprehensive and a better outcome. If you plan on using a dog as a stud dog, remember not to correct or discourage him from showing interest in females. Certain dogs will not respond well to females in heat because they have been conditioned or trained not to by their owners. We have also found it helpful to introduce the collection process to a dog when he is fairly young, rather than waiting until they are several years old. If a dog cannot be collected, clients will only be charged for the office visit.

Zoetis is the largest canine frozen semen storage bank in the world. Semen for is stored in a liquid nitrogen bath at a constant -196 degrees Celsius temperature. The facility boasts a 15,000 gallon liquid nitrogen tank which automatically fills the storage tanks, offsite alarm services, individual tank monitors and full-time security guards to monitor restricted areas. The Zoetis’ staff has years of experience coordinating shipments of frozen semen nationally and internationally. Please visit the following link for more information on Zoetis storage solutions.

After semen collection, the semen is evaluated to determine if the semen is of sufficient quality to freeze. After semen has been frozen, a drop will be thawed to determine post-thaw motility. This information is used to determine the amount of frozen semen needed per insemination. We will call you with this information. The owner can decide whether to have additional semen frozen depending on the number of inseminations.

VMC is available for canine reproduction patients 7 days a week when reproductive procedures cannot wait, such as artificial inseminations, TCIs, semen collection for fresh-chilled shipments and emergency caesarean sections. Call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cahallan, our canine veterinary specialist.

Semen Freezing Appointment

It is advised to bring a teaser female dog in estrus if possible. We also require the following items (sent in the first visit information packet):

1. Signed Zoetis Contract for Storage of Frozen semen.
2. Copy of the dogs AKC registration that will remain in the medical record.
3. AKC DNA profile which can be obtained at the time of semen freezing.
4. A copy of a negative Brucellosis test within the last 6 months.
5. Two recent color phots of the dog( 1 front and 1 side view).
6. Microchip number or tattoo ID.

The collection process will usually last 30 minutes or less, at which point the owner can leave. However, the analysis and freezing procedure will take us several hours. Please have the proper paper documentation ready upon request. Having a “teaser” female (in heat) usually will be helpful to interest the male and increase libido.

This will vary from dog to dog and collection to collection. A normal dog’s sperm count is from 200 million up to 1 to 2 billion. Each collection will be somewhat different. Other factors critical in determining the number of breeding units will be 1) % normal sperm 2)% motile sperm 3)% motile sperm on test thaw after freezing. All of these factors will be considered to determine the proper number of breeding units. Remember, splitting into a higher number of breeding units should only be performed if the proper number of normal, active sperm permit it. Smaller breeds can present a challenge due to the lower sperm counts.

While most dogs will allow themselves to be collected when a female teaser is present, occasionally certain dogs will not permit it. Sometimes a follow up visit will find the dog less apprehensive and a better outcome. If you plan on using a dog as a stud dog, remember not to correct or discourage him from showing interest in females. Certain dogs will not respond well to females in heat because they have been conditioned or trained not to by their owners. We have also found it helpful to introduce the collection process to a dog when he is fairly young, rather than waiting until they are several years old. If a dog cannot be collected, clients will only be charged for the office visit.

As with many things, “timing is everything”, especially when it comes to canine reproduction. VMC is available for canine reproduction patients 7 days a week when reproductive procedures cannot wait. Please call us today if you have any questions or to schedule a pre-breeding exam.

Semen Evaluation Parameters

After semen collection, the semen is evaluated to determine if the semen is of sufficient quality to freeze. After semen has been frozen, a drop will be thawed to determine post-thaw motility. This information is used to determine the amount of frozen semen needed per insemination. We will call you with this information. The owner can decide whether to have additional semen frozen depending on the number of inseminations.

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