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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend of mine who is considering importing semen from outside the UK and obviously the only way to use this is with AI.

AI is very rarely done in dobes over here so very few of us have experience with results, while i know that a fair few of the breeders on here have done AI both normal and surgical.

A few questions i guess, what is the average litter size, my friends kennel litter average is about 8 so fairly standard size.

Is it the done thing to do 2 implantations or is one enough, they recently progesterone blood tested a bitch for mating but it wasnt very accurate so looking for other options on that front.

Because of location fresh cooled and sent over night doesn't seem to be possibility so would be working from frozen, what success have people had from frozen AI's.

From what i have personally read i would imagine that surgical AI would be more successful as you are placing the semen right in the horns where it needs to be but I am also not a fan of putting a dog under a GA willy nilly.

I do remember a thread a loooooooooooong time ago of someone who took photos and did a story line along with their bitch having AI but cant remember for the life of me who it was!

trying to give them as much help as possible but these are obviously questions i dont have any answers to but i know the masses of DT do. :)

G
 

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Whippet Up
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I have a friend of mine who is considering importing semen from outside the UK and obviously the only way to use this is with AI.

AI is very rarely done in dobes over here so very few of us have experience with results, while i know that a fair few of the breeders on here have done AI both normal and surgical.

A few questions i guess, what is the average litter size, my friends kennel litter average is about 8 so fairly standard size.

Is it the done thing to do 2 implantations or is one enough, they recently progesterone blood tested a bitch for mating but it wasnt very accurate so looking for other options on that front.

Because of location fresh cooled and sent over night doesn't seem to be possibility so would be working from frozen, what success have people had from frozen AI's.

From what i have personally read i would imagine that surgical AI would be more successful as you are placing the semen right in the horns where it needs to be but I am also not a fan of putting a dog under a GA willy nilly.

I do remember a thread a loooooooooooong time ago of someone who took photos and did a story line along with their bitch having AI but cant remember for the life of me who it was!

trying to give them as much help as possible but these are obviously questions i dont have any answers to but i know the masses of DT do. :)

G
Two main factors that determine success:

Timing and the quality of the semen.

Frozen should only be done via a surgical implant. The semen life is significantly shortened by the freezing process. (Down to a few hours) In order to get optimal use it must be put in the uterus. One implantation is enough with a surgical. You don't want a bitch under anesthesia twice and it is not necessary. Fresh chilled has a longer life but not as long as semen from a natural breeding. I would not do a vaginal AI with fresh chilled unless the vet is capable of a trans cervical which means the semen is inserted in the uterus via a pipette, not just deposited in the vagina.

Before I would consider either option I would make sure you have a vet who is knowledgeable about progesterone timing and is capable of, and has the equipment for a trans cervical. I would also get a semen report on the dog you want to use and see what the quality of the semen was when collected. VERY important. If the quality is suspect then your success is questionable as there is always degradation in the thawing process.

The most important thing to remember is the timing. Progesterone testing is expensive and must be done frequently to determine breeding time. Ovulation is determined when the progesterone level jumps three points or more in 24 hours, then the implant or trans cervical is done on a specific timing schedule after that. Fresh chilled should be done twice to cover the optimal period, again, trans cervical if at all possible.

In addition, litter size can be any and everything...from no puppies to many litters with 8, 10 and 12 via frozen or fresh chilled.

Good luck!
 

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Sea Hag
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I had a bitch who had a transcervical implantation done with frozen semen. The repro vet I use doesn't like to open the uterus unless there's a known fertility problem. The result was 5 puppies. She'd just had a litter with one of her own bitches (chesapeake bay retriever) that was implanted the same way that turned out to be 11 puppies.

Elaine is right, the things of primary importance are those of timing and the quality of the semen. To that, I'd add the expertise of the vet.

As she said, frequent progesterone testing is necessary to pinpoint that timing and the repro vet i used has her progesterone tests evaluated at a lab that primarily does human testing, rather than one of the canine labs.

Being honest, if you can't find a vet who's done plenty of AI breeding, I wouldn't bother doing either frozen or fresh chilled. That's how important the expertise of the vet is.

I also would try to avoid doing AI breeding on a maiden bitch-if she misses, you have no idea whether she has a fertility problem, or whether the problem occurred during the process itself. There also is usually no return service offered for AI breeding, so if the bitch misses you're just out of luck...this also encourages you to use semen with a proven bitch.
 

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Doberman Slave
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It was me that posted the sick photo essay. :)

I agree that timing is so important. If you have LH testing available, do it along with the progesterone. My repro vet does daily smears, progesterone, and LH when the progesterone starts rising. My litters are always right on as far as timing with her. I know the exact due date and it has always been accurate to date.

Semen quality is also really important. The only time this type of breeding has failed me is when the semen quality was not great.

And I agree that the vet must be excellent. I would never use a regular vet for this, too much time, trouble, and expense involved to not use a specialist.

I prefer fresh chilled over frozen, but have always had great results as long as I followed my vets protocol and used either her or another specialist in the area when she wasn't available.

I have done 2 inseminations in most case, but have had success with one - all depends on the timing!

Good luck with the litter!
 
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transcervical implantation is the way to go, went to a seminar last October with a vet from Belgium, he said there is no reason to do a surgical, TI is faster, just as reliable, no need to put the bitch under.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow.
Fantastic answers, thankyou very much ladies! :)

I'll give you a little more infomation on the dogs in hand so it may make more sense, 2 dogs are being considered, both Foxfire dogs so i would hope that Michelle knows a thing or 2. Have been in touch with the labs that she uses and from what I understand semen is checked for quality before, I think one of the dogs has sired a number of litters by AI before the other i am not so sure of.

The bitch they are hoping to mate has had one litter before, it was a singleton but this was due to owner error with time of mating as there was another girl in the house in season at the same time who caused them to be confused over which bitch the dog was screaming for! Even though they mated her on normal day, i cant recall if blood work was done, at her scan the lady who does it said she was mated too early and she had conceived on day 20.

We have this vet as a repro specialist, Veterinary Reproduction Service Cambridge/Uk,small animal reproduction,Angelika von Heimendahl
I had the pleasure of going to one of her seminars and it was brilliant. She does it day in day out and she is only about 3/4 hours away which is fine. without a doubt the leading person on it in the country.

This is something of great interest to me as well as honestly I am finding it harder and harder to find males that I like and we are at a bot of a bottleneck gene pool wise at the moment. The expenses for importing semen are no different than driving on to the continent. I have a litter planned for mid/end of next year which is going in quiet tight and the result for that i would then be looking to go out again.. looking over seas is most likely the best way to go!

Will obviously pass all this info on to my friends, they want the best for their girl, they also want a stunning litter (dont we all!) and will be keeping from this litter too. :)
 

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Having done both a surgical AI (neceswary due to issues) and TCI, between the two I'd go TCI all the way. There are a few rerpo vets in my area that will do TCI with Frozen semen. I used chilled and opted for 2 TCIs to be safe. My bitch ended up having "the weirdest uterus my vet has ever seen" 2 months later with a pyo so did not take and only had a singleton with AiI She's not a good example in that spect since her uterus was so "odd." But seeing what she went through with one vs the other, TCI would be my choice if at all possible.
 
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