Artificial Insemination is basically any form of assisted breeding/mating. The procedure can be performed by various methods, depending on the animals involved and how much assistance is needed to get the female pregnant.
** Artificial Insemination is assisted breeding by placing the male’s semen inside the female’s cervix or uterus to facilitate a successful pregnancy.
- This procedure involves manual collection of the semen from the male and immediately placing the fresh sample into the female’s cervix.
- With this method the semen is placed further up deeper into the female’s reproductive tract, into the uterus, and closer to its’ target destination.
- Here the semen is also placed into the uterus, but this method requires full sedation and surgery. Although this is more invasive, it may be necessitated depending on the issues with the female.
Understanding the female dog & ‘heat’
Estrus/ heat is the stage of the female dog’s reproductive cycle during which she can be mated and become pregnant. The first heat cycle will usually occur between 6-12 months of age, but some larger specimens may go up to 24 months before having their first cycle. After this the average interval between future cycles is 6 months.
How do I know when my female is in ‘heat’?
- Swollen vulva
- Bloody vaginal discharge
- Mood changes
- Picky appetite
During the first phase of this cycle, there will be a bloody vaginal discharge; at this time the female will not usually be receptive to mating with the male.
*** If you DO NOT WANT PUPS this is the best time to secure your female dog away from any males for at least 2 weeks. ***
Throughout the second phase of the cycle, the bloody discharge will change to more straw coloured fluid and she will attract many males to your yard. Here she will also show willingness to mate. This fertile phase will last from 5-7 days.
Fresh, Chilled or Frozen?
No, I am not asking how you prefer your fruit or smoothie, rather which type of semen sample is preferred for artificial insemination. Chilled and frozen semen obviously has a longer shelf-life than fresh and allows more flexibility in planning the breeding. Using chilled and frozen genetic material requires specialized training in working with these types of sample for a greater measure of success.
While artificial insemination is available to all owners, it is primarily tailored towards the purebred animal, to continue a desirable genetic lineage. Utilizing the frozen or chilled methods particularly, breeders are not limited to pedigree bloodlines within Barbados. Sharing the genetic material, with the proper clearances is considerably easier, less costly and certainly safer than transporting your prized animals.
Dr Laura Hutchinson, Trinity Animal Clinic