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It is becoming common practice to mainly perform artificial insemination for the majority of breeding that is performed in this day and age. Reasons for choosing artificial insemination include:
Access to high quality genetics by shipping fresh chilled or frozen semen from a distant stud dog
Decreased expenses and stress by not having to ship the bitch to the stud dog
Precise ovulation timing can result in higher success rates for pregnancy as well as increased litter size potential in fertile bitches
Decreased risk for injury and disease transmission that can occur with natural breeding
Convenience of not having to arrange the stud dog and the bitch in the same location at the same time
Intrauterine insemination allows for longer coverage of the ovulatory window than natural
breeding due to being able to bypass the cervix (which a stud dog cannot do)
Dual sire planned breeding is commonly accomplished this way to ensure coverage of a
heat cycle and maximize conception rates with a desired stud dog
Types of semen that can be used with artificial insemination:
Fresh collection semen (commonly called a side-by-side) to be inseminated immediately
Lives for 5-7 days after insemination
Fresh chilled semen shipped in at the time the insemination is needed
Lives for 24-72 hours after insemination
Frozen semen that can be sent ahead of time and stored until needed
Lives from 12-24 hours after insemination
Artificial Insemination methods:
Transvaginal Insemination (TVAI): this method mimics a natural breeding by using a Mavic insemination catheter we create an artificial “tie” and allow for the same natural mechanisms of inducing contractions and natural migration of the sperm through the cervix. Here is a radiograph taken with contrast to demonstrate how this works.
Transcervical Insemination (TCI): this method is our preferred insemination method for fresh chilled and frozen semen. This is an intrauterine insemination method that bypasses the cervix and implants the semen into the uterus. There is no anesthesia or sedation required for this method and it doesn’t require an invasive surgery. We have a 93% success rate with TCI at Advanced Animal Care using fresh chilled and frozen semen in proven bitches with good quality semen for insemination and using accurate ovulation timing! Natural breeding usually has a 70% success rate, our odds are fantastic with TCI! The new age, high quality scope that we use is very accurate and allows for excellent visualization and catheterization of the cervix.
Surgical Insemination (SAI): we reserve this method for bitches with a history of Cystic Endometrial Hyperplasia (CEH) or fertility issues where we need to handle the uterus at the time of the insemination. We rarely need to do this procedure at our hospital. If we cannot achieve accurate catheterization of the cervix and are using frozen semen, we will move to this method or if we have a CEH bitch, we will plan this procedure. It obviously requires full anesthesia and a surgical procedure.
At Advanced Animal Care of Colorado, we will provide you with all the necessary information, guidance and pros/cons to be able to help you make an informed decision about the use of artificial insemination, the method and the semen type. Please contact us when planning a breeding or if you have questions so we can team with you in making the decisions that will help you have the most positive experience and the best outcome for your breeding program!