Dr. Best has a special interest in canine reproduction, and offers a wide range of services, covering infertility issues, optimizing fertility, and assisting in successful breeding. Many of our clients have benefited from Dr. Best’s experience in the past, so we want to share an overview of the services she can provide, and highlight our exciting new service.

Pre-breeding genetic screening for dogs

Many breeds are prone to genetic diseases, and dogs may carry genes for diseases without developing disease themselves. When two dogs that carry the genes for a genetic disease are bred, the puppies have a good chance of developing the condition. Although there is no way to completely prevent genetic diseases, pre-breeding genetic screening of potential parents is the best way to determine whether they are a good match to sire a litter of healthy puppies.

Ovulation detection for canine reproduction

Dogs go into heat only twice a year, and since their cycles are so far apart, it can be difficult to time a successful breeding. When your dog shows heat signs, it is also helpful to know the optimal breeding time to enhance her probability of fertilization and pregnancy. By microscopically analyzing vaginal cytology samples and measuring hormone levels, we can pinpoint the best time for your dog to be bred or inseminated.

Semen collection and shipping for dogs

Whether your dog is a prize stud valued for his superior genetics or you wish to propagate your beloved family pet’s genes, we can collect, evaluate, store, and ship semen to ensure future viability. After collection, Dr. Best will evaluate your dog’s semen for general appearance and volume, as well as sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. We can facilitate shipment of your dog’s fresh-chilled semen throughout the country, or world, to get it to the correct breeder. We also partner with International Canine Semen Bank if you would like to freeze and store your stud’s semen for later use.

Transcervical insemination for canine reproduction

Artificial insemination (AI) can be a helpful procedure for dogs who fail to become pregnant naturally or those who you wish to be fertilized with semen from a specific donor. By placing semen directly into the uterus, we can significantly increase the chances of successful fertilization and pregnancy. 

To add to Dr. Best’s reproductive services repertoire, we have recently purchased an endoscope, which allows her to provide transcervical insemination procedures. Dr. Best has performed AI for some time, but our recent addition allows her to provide this service at a more advanced level. An endoscope allows for a visual examination of the reproductive tract without invasive surgery, and the endoscope tubing contains channels through which instruments can be passed, including a catheter that can be used to deposit semen into the uterus for insemination. In the past, surgical insemination was used for canine reproduction, but the transcervical method is safer, quicker, and less painful for your dog. 

  • How is transcervical insemination performed? — Similar to surgical insemination, transcervical insemination bypasses the cervix and deposits semen directly in the uterus, but without the need for surgery. With this method, an endoscope is used to locate the cervix and pass a catheter through to allow intrauterine insemination.
  • Can all dogs be inseminated transcervically? — A variety of canine breeds have been transcervically inseminated, including tiny toy breeds. 
  • Will transcervical insemination cause infection? — Although the uterus is more resistant to infection during the height of a dog’s estrous cycle, we still take stringent quality control and sanitation measures to limit bacterial contamination. We are also careful to avoid traumatizing the vaginal or uterine walls with the endoscope or catheter, although the walls are thicker and more impervious to harm at the time of insemination. Few complications arise with our techniques.
  • How does transcervical insemination compare to surgical insemination? — While both methods deposit semen directly in the uterus, transcervical insemination rarely requires sedation or anesthesia, thus reducing risk for the dog. Most dogs tolerate the procedure well and stand comfortably the entire time, usually 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the dog’s size and semen volume. Since transcervical insemination does not require surgery or anesthesia, your dog can return home immediately after the procedure, rather than waiting for recovery. Many breeds who fail to reproduce well naturally, such as English and French bulldogs, also fail to breathe well unaided, so transcervical insemination is the best route for these dogs, as anesthesia for surgical insemination can be risky.

We are one of the few area facilities that offers surgical insemination, and we have now expanded our skills to include transcervical insemination for the success and safety of your dog. If you are interested in fertility testing and breeding options for your dog, schedule a comprehensive breeding consultation with Dr. Best.

Do you think your pet would benefit from cutting-edge technology? Contact our hospital to see if your four-legged friend would be an ideal candidate for our new equipment and skills.