Planning a Breeding with Frozen Semen
Choosing Frozen Semen vs. Fresh Chilled Semen
Whenever possible chilled semen is preferred due to a better conception rate and lower cost overall. The success of frozen semen breedings depends on three things; 1) quality of the frozen semen 2) timing of the insemination 3) fertility of the bitch.
Obtain Semen From Storage Facility
Frozen semen can be sent to VMC several weeks prior to the breeding; we can store the semen until it is needed. The semen owner will need to order the shipment and the bitch owner can coordinate shipment payment. If semen is stored at Zoetis in Kansas City, MO please contact them to complete the paperwork to request the transfer. We accept frozen semen shipments routinely on Mon-Sat 8am-5pm. Please call to let us know the tracking number and when it was shipped.
It is required to schedule a pre-breeding exam to allow us to evaluate the bitch, her breeding history and to appropriately plan the insemination dose and route.
How Much Semen to Send?
We always request enough semen to inseminate the bitch twice, however, often only one breeding is available to us. Whenever possible, we would like a minimum of 100-150 million live sperm for a single insemination. In certain situations double this amount may be advised. The amount of semen offered from the stud dog or freezing center may be less than this recommendation; we will work with what is provided but these recommendations are ideal.This can be discussed during a pre-breeding examination.
What is Involved With Surgery or Trans-Cervical Insemination?
Semen is injected into the uterus directly with either method. Transcervical Insemination (TCI)will achieve this without the risks of anesthesia and surgery (please see the TCI handout) by using a scope to visualize the cervix. The surgical method (called an “implant” by some breeders) is major surgery requiring full anesthesia, a small abdominal incision, and closure similar to a spay. Approximate recovery time from the surgical method is 10-14 days. There is no restriction in activity after a TCI.
How to Select the Insemination method?
Breeding by two TCI’s approximately 24 hours apart is the best plan whenever possible. If TCI is not achieved, surgical insemination is recommended as a back up plan, but the bitch is only bred once by the surgical method. Surgical insemination may be considered as the optimal first choice in some situations or if only one dose of semen is supplied.
Ovulation timing is the key to success with frozen semen. Once thawed, frozen semen has a limited longevity—probably less than 24 hours. See the ovulation timing handout.