Services provided

 
 

Canine Frozen Semen What To Expect


VetCor Canine Reproduction Services

19337 - 48 Avenue, Surrey, BC  Canada  V3S-0L5  Tel: (604)372-0334 Fax: (604)372-3779 

Driving Directions to Vetcor | Email Us


Services Provided:

  1. Fresh Chilled And Frozen Semen

  2. Ovulation Timing

  3. Semen Evaluation

  4. TCI


Frozen Semen Information:

  1. What To Expect


Infertility Information Pages:

  1. Bitch

  2. Stud Dog

WHY HAVE SEMEN FROZEN?

Long Term Storage
If your stud has those enduring qualities which should be preserved for the breed or your own future breeding program, you should have his semen frozen. This will guarantee his breeding availability for future generations.

For Breeding When The Stud Is Not Available
Many times, the stud dog is not available when an individual bitch needs to be bred. The reason may be due to the stud's show or trial schedule, overbooking for the stud's services or any other - scheduling conflict that could limit the studs availability.

Long-Distance and International Breeding
Long-Distance breedings may be accomplished without shipping either the bitch or stud dog by using either chilled-extended or frozen semen.


HOW IS SEMEN COLLECTED?

Semen is collected from stud dogs by manual stimulation. The different parts, or fractions of the ejaculate, are collected separately, so that good quality sperm rich semen is frozen and stored. In general, semen of better quality with a higher sperm count is collected when the dog's libido is high. Therefore, you should try to closely approximate a typical breeding situation for each stud; owners are encouraged to provide a bitch in season to use as a "teaser". In addition, if the dog associates a particular item with breeding, such as a rug, table, breeding rack, etc, you should bring that item with you.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SEMEN IS COLLECTED?

Immediately after the collection, the semen is evaluated. If the quality is sufficient for freezing, the sample is then extended with a buffer solution that protects the sperm during freezing and thawing. A sperm count is performed and the sample is further diluted to a uniform concentration of 50 million sperm per straw, which has been found to be the most advantageous for both the freeze and the insemination. The semen is frozen in individually labeled straws. After freezing, a small aliquot of sperm is thawed to judge percent motility and quality; average motility post-thaw is 40%-60%.


HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE?

The entire process takes 4-7 hours from the time of the collection. However, clients are present for the first 15-45 minutes only. Expect to spend a little more time during the first visit to take care of necessary paperwork.


HOW AND WHERE IS THE SEMEN STORED?

Frozen semen is stored in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C, which keeps semen viable for an indefinite period of time. Since electricity is not required, there is no fear of accidental thawing due to a power failure. Semen is stored long term at the freezing facility and can be transferred by request given notice in writing by the owner of the semen of at least 14 days.


HOW MUCH SEMEN WILL STORED FROM EACH COLLECTION?

The quantity of straws obtained is directly dependent on the dog's sperm count. The quantity and quality of semen produced in one ejaculation can vary, sometimes considerably, from dog to dog and collection to collection. Factors that affect the ejaculate include:

AGE - In general, a young mature dog (2-4 years age) will have a higher sperm count and better quality semen than older dogs or young, immature dogs.

GENERAL HEALTH STATUS - An ill or stressed dog will rarely produce good quality semen. It can take as long as 3-6 months for the ejaculate to return to normal following recovery from illness. Certain drugs also affect sperm production.

SIZE - In general, large dogs produce more sperm than small dogs. Toy breeds often must have semen collected several times to store enough to breed one bitch, whereas a giant breed stud might produce enough semen in one ejaculate to inseminate 3-5 bitches. Remember that it is the number of sperm cells, not the volume that is important.

DISPOSITION / TEMPERAMENT - In general, an experienced stud dog produces better quality semen than one who doesn't fully understand what is expected of him. In addition, a dog that is accustomed to having people around and/or being handled while breeding will perform better when having semen collected.


IS IT WORTHWHILE TO ATTEMPT SEMEN FREEZING WITH AN UNPROVEN STUD, AN OLDER DOG?.. AN ILL DOG?

If a dog is producing motile sperm cells, it is useful to attempt to freeze his semen. In generally, if semen number and/or quality are compromised, only a small quantity of viable sperm cells will stored. While this will give you an "insurance policy" bank of semen every attempt should be made to improve semen quality and then freeze subsequent collections.


WHAT IS THE COST?

The first visit consultation fee is charged even if a collection is attempted but semen of adequate quality is not obtained. In addition, if a sperm sample is put through the freezing process, the semen freezing fee is charged regardless of the quantity of straws obtained or their post-thaw quality. For future semen freezing from the same dog at the same center, the first visit consultation fee is not charged, provided a sample for freezing is obtained at the subsequent visit(s).

Note: Call the freezing center for current costs. Charges at individual freezing centers may vary, and are subject to change without prior written notice.


WHAT ARE THE STORAGE FEES?

The first year's storage is included in the initial freezing fee. After one year, semen storage will be billed to you directly by the freezing facility depending on the amount of semen stored. Storage fees not paid after two months will result in the disposal of the semen.


WHAT KIND OF PAPERWORK AND RECORD-KEEPING ARE NECESSARY?

You are required to bring a copy of the stud's individual registration papers plus proof of positive identification which can include tattoo, microchip, DNA profiling (required for all anticipated semen use in the United States ). After the semen is frozen you will receive a copy of an evaluation of the semen stored.


WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE WITH FROZEN SEMEN?

Individual success will vary depending on the semen quality, bitch fertility and the procedures employed in ovulation timing and insemination. With every thing ideal, the conception rate nears 80%; realistically it is 60%.


PLANNING A FROZEN SEMEN BREEDING?

Consult with a veterinarian experienced in insemination with frozen semen and ovulation timing required to achieve good results.

PLAN IN ADVANCE
The use of frozen semen should not be an emergency. Advance notice will; allow time to prepare all paperwork as required by the AKC, CKC or other registration body; insure availability of shipping containers allow time for proper packaging and shipping of semen and allow time for proper ovulation timing procedures.

USE AN EXPERIENCED VETERINARIAN
The use of frozen semen requires expertise above and beyond that of fresh or chilled semen artificial insemination. Choose a qualified veterinarian in your area. It is important that:

  1. the bitch being bred is reproductively normal; frozen semen is not a solution for infertility problems

  2. accurate ovulation timing is performed; since frozen semen lives 24 hours or less after it is thawed, it must be inseminated during the short 2-3 day fertile period for conception to occur

  3. frozen semen is handled and thawed properly

  4. proper insemination techniques are used


OVULATION TIMING
Accurate ovulation timing is essential, since the stress of freezing and thawing decreases the life span of the sperm cells to 12-24 hours once thawed. Daily to every other blood testing is recommended to identify the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge, enabling insemination during the short fertile period of the birth.

INSEMINATION TECHNIQUES
Each time semen is frozen from a stud dog, one partial straw is thawed to check the viability of that particular sample, and recommendations for use are made accordingly. The method used depends on the quantity and quality of semen in storage as well as the reproductive history of the bitch. Frozen semen must be put into the uterus directly. There are presently only two methods used, one is via surgical insemination and the other is via endoscopic insemination.