Natural breeding dog mating can transfer serious diseases between the dog and the bitch. With canine artificial insemination, the male dog never comes in contact with the bitch so is safe from whatever she may carry. However, there is still the chance that she could catch something nasty from him. So what are the important health checks to do before dog breeding to avoid disease and maximize breeding success?
A clinical examination by your veterinarian is a good place to start. It can reveal signs of infection and other health issues, genital anomalies that might compromise mating or whelping, as well as serious inheritable defects that ethically preclude the use of a dog for breeding.
Brucella canis typically causes late abortion in dogs, and can infect a whole kennel causing much heartache and loss. So in countries where it exists, such as United States, Mexico, Japan, Germany, Eastern Europe, South America and Madagascar, testing is essential.
Canine Herpes virus testing is mostly a problem in large kennels where hygiene standards are lax. Because it takes several weeks for vaccinations to protect unborn and newborn puppies, pre-breeding testing is important,
A frequent cause of failure to conceive by artificial insemination is the lack of a fully developed season in the bitch, and the failure to ovulate.
A thorough clinical history can reveal to your veterinarian many issues that can adversely influence the chance of successful breeding such as previous failures to conceive, abnormal heats, and suspected poor timing of prior matings. Previous hormone treatments can adversely affect a bitch’s capacity to breed for many seasons and a poor vaccination history exposes puppies of such bitches to the risk of fading puppy syndrome.
For a bitch that fails to display normal estrus behavior, hormone levels can be checked over a complete cycle to see if the problem can be corrected through such therapies as thyroid supplementation. A bitch that habitually aborts or resorbs her litter late in pregnancy can often be helped with progesterone supplementation.
Examination of the Semen
A stud dog can develop fertility problems at any stage of his career. Assessing his semen prior to mating or AI can save bitch owners potential losses due to sub-optimal fertility.
It also gives the stud dog owner the opportunity to get in early and treat conditions before they become irreversible.