Canine Reproduction

With an industry expert.

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Slide Portrait of three adorable bulldog puppies looking in one direction - Image Only The Best Dr. Best has a special interest in canine reproduction and because of that; Billings Animal Family Hospital offers a wide range of canine reproductive services. We start with basic exams for infertility problems and for discussing ways to optimize a female dog's fertility through the course of her life.

We offer ovulation timing using vaginal cytology, LH testing and progesterone level testing for natural breeding, artificial insemination and for surgical insemination. We are one of the few facilities in the area offering surgical insemination. We can offer semen collection and evaluation and can also facilitate shipment of fresh-chilled semen from a stud dog to be used across the United States and even around the world. We are able to help facilitate the freezing and storing of canine semen through our association with ICSB in Oregon. To learn more, please visit www.ik9sb.com.

The Cutting Edge

In the future we may expand on our canine reproductive services, most notably to include trans-cervical insemination, a less-invasive alternative to surgical insemination.

If you are interested in having Dr. Best speak to your local canine organization/group about Billings Animal Family Hospital’s reproductive services, please call.

The Cutting Edge

In the future we may expand on our canine reproductive services, most notably to include trans-cervical insemination, a less-invasive alternative to surgical insemination.

If you are interested in having Dr. Best speak to your local canine organization/group about Billings Animal Family Hospital’s reproductive services, please call.

Slide Got Questions?

Most small to medium-sized female dogs will come into heat around 6-8 months; large and giant breeds can be 12-16 months. Heat cycles last anywhere from 10-21 days and the timing and duration of fertility varies between dogs. Just because you always bred Old Bessie at 12 and 14 days, does not mean all dogs have the same cycle. We do not recommend breeding a female dog until after age 2 and after some basic genetic evaluations have been done. What these tests are depends on the breed, but might include tests for hip and elbow dysplasia, genetic bleeding disorders, genetic heart disorders, etc. Male dogs can breed any time after sexual maturity, which can be 8-18 months depending on the breed. We also recommend the same genetic testing for male dogs.

Dr. Best recommends starting testing with vaginal cytology and progesterone at day 3-5 of spotting. We may also reserve blood samples for LH testing. Please schedule an appointment for this. There will be a reproductive consult fee which covers initial exam and consultation and the several phone calls that are needed throughout the course of planning a breeding.

That depends on so many things! It is really hard to give an accurate estimate. The initial breeding consultation, vaginal cytology and progesterone are ~$200. From there it depends on where she is in her cycle and what type of breeding you are doing. It can range anywhere from $500 to over $1000.

Yes, for most male dogs, we are able to collect semen to be used for side-by-side artificial insemination (you have the female with you), shipping fresh-chilled semen to another area/state/county or shipping to ICSB (International Canine Semen Bank) for freezing to be used later. Please contact ICSB (http://www.ik9sb.com/) for details on a collection kit and the costs associated with processing and storing frozen semen. For other costs, these can be discussed with Dr. Best during a comprehensive breeding consultation.

No, we do not store frozen semen here. It can be stored locally at World West Sire Services, or with ICSB in Oregon.

Collecting, evaluating and shipping semen costs approximately $350-400 depending on where we are shipping it and whether we are shipping chilled semen for breeding or shipping to ICSB for breeding. This includes exam, collection, evaluation, extender and overnight shipping fees.

Not currently but we are working on obtaining the equipment to offer this service. Please check back soon.

We can only schedule C-sections if we know when the female ovulated; this is done with progesterone or LH testing. We do not schedule these procedures based on breeding dates alone.

Although we do not take emergency call, we realize that a lot of reproductive procedures – both breeding and C-sections – must take place during irregular hours. We are available most of the time for these procedures for an additional fee.

Dr. Best does not do phone consults for breeding, unless you are an established client and she has seen this particular dog before. If that is the case, a charged phone consult can be scheduled. If she has not seen your or your dogs before, you will need to come into the office for a comprehensive breeding consultation. Breeding consults can be very complicated and very time consuming. Since it is important to give you the time needed to address your questions and concerns, one-on-one consults are the best. We realize that sometimes heat cycles happen unexpectedly and opportunities arise with short notice. That is why it is best to get the preliminary exam and consultation out of the way early on if you are planning to breed your dog. That will save the frustration of not being able to speak with or schedule an appointment with Dr. Best on short notice.