Progesterone Testing and
INFO: Progesterone is a hormone measurable in the blood of the estrus female in heat. Progesterone rises after the luteinizing hormone peaks and continues to rise for next 60 days whether she is bred or not. Therefore, it is a great tool for the breeder to determine breeding dates. Usually, 3 tests are required to determine the time but there are exceptions.
During the early days of which is now a world –wide hobby of cryopreservation the low conception rates were blamed on poor quality frozen semen. Indeed, the quality of the frozen semen plays a vital role in achieving high success rate but timing with reliable progesterone testing of the females and surgical implant techniques cannot be underestimated.
We work with both ‘kennel’ dogs and show dogs and if a dog has a very strong bond with the owner or the family, she can get stressed out very easily and it can affect her fertility. Therefore, we recommend posting the first one or two bloods to our lab for analysis reducing the stress of travelling or the necessity of being kenneled.
Ideally, the females should be tested at approximately day 7-9 for the first time. It usually works well in establishing the starting point of a cycle, if a breeder makes an appointment with their vet in the morning, ask the vet to put the blood sample in the Heparin based tube and post it to our lab. We will have the result by 10:00 or 10:30 the following morning and even if another blood test or insemination is required that day, it will be all made possible. Everyone’s willingness to put themselves out a bit and be flexible in their routine has resulted in a conception rate that is above natural conception rate.
Our laboratory uses an Enzyme Immune Assay Kit of a human hospital quality to measure progesterone, hence fore to determine the time of mating or insemination. Over a decade of experience and testing protocols has given us invaluable knowledge in determining the next day for a test or recommending a day for a mating. The testing is only conducted as required, we do not monitor progesterone on a daily basis, because we are always aware of the extra costs that it might result in. If your female is totally ok to stay with us for a couple of days, Trade Genetics will kennel her for as long as necessary but we will only blood test as required.
Nowadays, it only takes 40 minutes on the machine for the result to come out, so bringing your girl to our clinic on the day and taking her home is absolutely possible and often preferred by the breeders. Usually, an appointment for 9 a.m. will give us a result for 10 am with all the necessary paperwork and pre-surgery check completed.
When females are prepared and anesthetized by a veterinary surgeon and a technician, the frozen semen is being retrieved for insemination. While the surgeon makes an incision, a AI technician thaws the frozen semen using the procedure the frozen semen company recommends for their semen and prepares the semen for the insemination. The amount of frozen semen used per insemination is determined by the facility providing the semen (if imported) or usually it is one vial per insemination if Trade Genetics product is used.
The thawed semen is inseminated into each horn of the uterus and massaged for 5 minutes. From opening to closure, the procedure takes 10 minutes. The bitches are revived quickly from the anaesthesia, often awakening just as the final sutures are done. They will be still sleepy and have the so-called anaesthesia ‘hangover’ but they are awake and can go home where their owners will look after them and they will be more comfortable in their own environment. A five days course of antibiotics is prescribed to prevent the infection in the incision while it is healing. The self dissolvent sutures are used in most cases, so no further visits to the vet.