Fresh Semen Insemination

The semen used in artificial insemination may be in one of three states; Fresh semen, Chilled semen or Frozen semen. The reasons for choosing artificial insemination may vary and are discussed below. Please note that it is advised that all bitches be fully vaccinated at the time of insemination and that additional vaccination against kennel cough (specifically Bordetella bronchiseptica) is strongly advised in attempts to prevent kennel cough associated bronchitis which may reduce conception rates as well as cause bronchopneumonia in puppies (often fatal) in the breeding colony which may rapidly spread. Vaccination against Herpes virus is also strongly advised.

Fresh semen insemination per vagina

Fresh semen insemination is typically chosen if

  • Poor results were obtained at previous attempts with either the stud or bitch and fertility assessment including optimal timing of breeding and semen evaluation is indicated
  • Stud has difficulty in mating naturally
  • Bitch does not allow mating
  • Bitch displays unusual heat cycles (aberrant heat cycles)
  • Managing a stud that is known to suffer from suboptimal fertility
  • Semen is intended to be used on numerous bitches simultaneously
  • Manage limited access to studs in high demand (only one or maximum two matings are allowed)
  • Multiple sire matings are planned

How does the procedure work?

The bitch should be presented for monitoring of her oestrous (heat) cycle from about the fifth to sixth day since the bitch was first suspected to be in heat. When in doubt bring her in as soon as the first signs of heat are noticed. The monitoring can be done using simple vaginal speculum examinations or progesterone and LH blood assessments in more complicated cases. One “flat rate” is charged for artificial inseminations irrespective whether one or more inseminations and examinations are performed. In exceptional cases up to four inseminations are performed. The reason for the “flat rate” is to ensure that we maximise compliance from the owner to present the bitch at the required intervals. We need to have access to the bitch every alternate day in early heat and every day in late heat. We prefer to deal with the bitches on an outpatient basis but if that is not possible we can hospitalise the bitch for the duration of her heat cycle. In the latter case a boarding fee for both the stud and bitch applies. Bitch owners can expect their bitches to either stay a week or longer or having to present them for that long. Owners wishing to limit these visits somewhat may opt to have progesterone performed in which case the bitch should be presented from about day 4-5 following first signs of heat.

Fresh semen insemination directly into the uterus

This mode of insemination is becoming increasingly popular. The insemination of fresh semen directly into the uterus is indicated when:

 

  • A bitch has repeatedly failed to conceive without apparent cause
  • Semen of questionable quality is used
  • The veterinarian wishes to visually inspect the internal genital organs for pathology

 

There are a number of reasons why freshly collected semen inseminated directly into the uterus may have advantages over insemination into the vagina.