Canine Semen Services - Gravenhurst

What canine semen services are offered at the Chidiac Animal Hospital?
- semen collection, evaluation and shipping
- artificial insemination
- surgical insemination

What is the difference between fresh, fresh-chilled and frozen semen?
- Fresh semen: This has the longest life-span once inseminated and can remain viable in the bitch’s uterus for 5-7 days. It is collected and inseminated into the bitch without any processing. This type of semen can not survive outside the bitch for an extended period of time and is therefore not able to be shipped.
- Fresh-chilled semen: This type of semen can survive in the bitch’s uterus for 24-72 hours. It is collected and processed with an extender that provides energy to the sperm and then it is cooled to a specific temperature. The cooling and extender allow this type of semen to be shipped overnight to be inseminated at distant locations. Shipping time cannot exceed 24 hours without compromising the viability of the semen.
- Frozen semen: This type of semen has the shortest lifespan of only 12-24 hours once it is thawed and inseminated. It has to be processed with special extenders that allow the sperm to survive the freezing and thawing process. The benefit with frozen semen is that it can remain frozen and remain viable for decades. This type of semen can also be shipped very long distances and survive for up to 3 weeks in a specialized shipping container.

What can affect a dog’s semen quality?
- Although semen quality is important when using fresh or fresh-chilled, it is vital to have excellent quality semen when freezing. The health of a dog is reflected in his semen quality. A stressed or sick dog will often have poor semen. The best dogs for collection are healthy dogs 2-6 years of age that have not been bred or collected within the previous 10-14 days. It is also recommended that if a dog has not been used for breeding for a period of several months, he should be collected two weeks prior to when he will be collected for freezing. All dogs collected for semen freezing must be checked and be negative for Brucellosis. We require a current (30 days) negative brucella canis test prior to a dog’s semen being stored in our tank.

What are the differences in the insemination methods?
- Artificial insemination can be done with fresh or fresh-chilled semen. The semen can be collected on site by our staff, collected and immediately brought to us to be inseminated or fresh-chilled that has been shipped overnight.
- Frozen semen must be inseminated surgically due to the short lifespan of the semen once it is thawed. Ovulation timing must be done for a surgical insemination to be performed. At this time we do not offer trans-cervical insemination.

What should be expected when my dog comes in for frozen semen collection?
- As previously stated, we require a current negative brucella canis test before your dog’s semen can be stored in our tank. We ask that if you do not have a current negative brucella test with the microchip or tattoo number of the dog included on the report that you have one performed at your veterinarian or make an appointment with us at least one week prior to your frozen semen collection appointment to have this test performed.
- At the collection appointment, our veterinarian will do a thorough physical examination and breeding soundness examination. We will then collect semen from the dog with the use of a teaser bitch. The semen will be fully evaluated, including motility and morphology. If at this point it is determined that the semen quality is not appropriate for freezing, we will contact you regarding how you would like to proceed and methods to improve semen quality for future collections. If the semen is appropriate for freezing, we will freeze it into individual straws containing 100 million motile, morphologically correct sperm. The number of straws produced per collection depends upon the quality and quantity of the ejaculate. A test thaw will be performed 48-72 hours after freezing to ensure that the sperm survive the freezing and thawing process.

The veterinarians and staff at the Chidiac Animal Hospital have a special interest in canine reproduction and many of us are also breeders who are active within our individual breeds and dog sports. If you have any questions or would like to discuss our canine semen services in further detail, we would love to talk to you.
We can be reached by phone at (705) 835-7005 or toll free at 1-866-922-0021.