Collection & Evaluation
Semen collection from your stud is important for several reasons. The first reason is to evaluate the quality of the semen. After your stud is collected, we will first evaluate the semen for its concentration using the sperm-rich fraction of the ejaculate. We have an in-house program called SpermVision SAR that can evaluate the concentration (sperm count), percentage of sperm that are moving(motility), progessive motility(percentage of sperm that are moving in one direction) and morphology(shape) of a sperm sample. This will tell us about the quality of your stud’s sperm sample. Another reason for collection is to have the sample for a planned artificial insemination. At All Pets, we can also collect and store your stud’s semen for future use by freezing the sample in liquid nitrogen.
Frozen semen is shipped and stored in a frozen state. Once thawed, frozen semen will only live for approximately 12 hours. It is very critical to inseminate the bitch at the correct time.
Several things to take into account when thinking of using frozen semen:
- Where is the frozen semen stored that you are planning to use? Is it already stored with us or does it need to be shipped in? If it is not stored with us, you will need to pay release and shipping fees to get it to us.
- You need to do progesterone timing as it is imperative that the semen be placed in the bitch at the correct time as it will only live for 12 hours once it is thawed. Generally, you are looking to inseminate day 5 or day 6 post LH surge, approximately 60 hours post ovulation and at progesterone values of 35 – 40 ng/ml using AIA-360 results.
- How much frozen semen do you have access to? Do you only have one breeding unit available or can you get two?
- What method of insemination do you want to use? With frozen semen it is recommended that it be implanted surgically due to its shortened life of 12 hours. If you have access to two breeding units, it is recommended that you do a TCI followed up 12 hours later with a surgical. This gives you 24 hours of coverage in which to get the eggs fertilized. It is not generally recommended that frozen semen be inserted via a Vaginal AI. You can have success with this method but we have found that you get a much lower rate of conception and smaller sized litters.
Some people feel that you get smaller litters using frozen semen. What we have found is that if you use the recommended method of insemination and progesterone timing, you get comparable sized litters to chilled semen and live covers.
With utilizing progesterone timing and surgically implantation of the frozen semen, we are currently running near a 90% success rate at our facility.
Stud dog collected, semen cooled down, extender added and shipped overnight. Fresh semen will generally live for up to 4 days once it goes into the bitch.
With chilled semen you need to figure that the semen will live from 24 to 48 hours once it goes into the bitch.
Several things to take into account when thinking of using chilled semen:
- Where is the stud dog located? Is he somewhere that the owner/handler will be able to collect and ship the semen?
- Does the stud owner have the needed supplies to collect, extend and ship the semen? Chilled semen needs to be shipped in insulated boxes such as ICSB Puppy Paks or Fresh Express Packs. The semen also must be mixed with a semen extender in order to keep it alive. You can order shipping kits and extender directly from us. Print a Puppy Pak Order Form from the Forms & Links page and forward it to us so that we can ship the supplies in plenty of time.
- Which method of insemination do you want to use? Chilled semen can be inseminated via Vaginal AI, TCI or Surgical.
- How many times do you want to inseminate the bitch? Many people opt for 2 inseminations due to the shortened life of the semen once it is in the bitch. If planning to do more than one insemination, you will need to make arrangements for the additional collections/shipments of the semen. The second insemination is generally performed 24 to 48 hours after the first one depending on progesterone levels.
- Are you prepared to “go the extra mile” if semen is needed on a weekend or holiday? Mother Nature sometimes throws you a curve ball and the semen is needed on a weekend or holiday. You need to be prepared for counter-to-counter shipments in order to get the semen. You need to be a “known shipper” with the airlines in order to send packages counter-to-counter. Many times you will need to locate and utilize a courier service in order to get the semen when it is needed.
- Do you have a back up plan in case you can’t get the semen when needed?
- Are you able to get laboratory progesterone test results? In-house testing kits can be unreliable. You want test results with a number value. It is very important with chilled semen to inseminate the bitch at the proper time in her cycle as the semen only will live 24 to 48 hours in the bitch once it is inseminated.
At All Pets, frozen semen can be collected, frozen, stored or shipped. We can perform both a pre-freeze and post-thaw evaluation of the semen samples. In our reproductive center, we have many liquid nitrogen storage tanks for your samples. We are certified by the ICSB for collection, freezing,storage and shipment of canine semen. By storing frozen semen samples, the semen can be shipped anywhere, used when a particular bitch is ready for breeding or when a stud dog is unavailable to be collected.
Once the frozen semen is thawed, the sample can only live for approximately 12 hours. Because of this it is important to inseminate the bitch at the correct time for successful breeding.
When using frozen semen it is suggested that you use progesterone timing. The proper time to inseminate using frozen semen is approximately day 5 or 6 following the LH surge, when progesterone levels are between 20-30 ng/mL using the AIA-360 and approximately 60 hours post ovulation.
It is suggested that you perform multiple breedings using frozen semen and use either TCI or surgical insemination as your method.
The stud dog is collected, the sample is cooled down and extender is added to the sample. This sample will be analyzed using SpermVision for concentration, motility and morphology, and a report will be produced. We can ship these chilled samples overnight using FedEx Express and a tracking number can be supplied so the owner of the bitch can determine the arrival of the shipped semen. While fresh semen will generally live up to 4 days once inside the bitch, chilled semen will live approximately 24-48 hours inside the bitch.
Types of Semen :
- Fresh- stud dog is present
- Chilled- semen is collected elsewhere, cooled down and stored
- Frozen- semen has been collected, frozen and stored
Methods of Insemination : Some methods work better with certain types of semen than others
- Vaginal AI (MAVIC) : Semen is inserted vaginally using a catheter with a balloon that inflates. This balloon simulates what would be the “natural tie” in natural dog breedings. This is beneficial because it causes uterine contractions which pushes the semen to the oviducts and prevents backflow. The semen is deposited near the cervix. This method is not recommended with frozen semen.
- Transcervical Insemination(TCI) : Semen is inserted vaginally using a TCI scope that delivers the semen directly through the cervix into the uterus. This method can be used with fresh,chilled or frozen semen.
- Surgical Insemination : For this method, anesthesia is required so that an abdominal incision can be made and semen is deposited into both uterine horns. This method can be used for all types of semen, and is recommended when using frozen semen, semen with unknown quality, and for females who have been previously infertile. Progesterone timing is very important with this type of insemination to ensure the success of a breeding, and to maximize conception and litter sizes.