ICSB Colorado

180 East Bromley Lane

Brighton, Colorado 80601


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Breedings and Ovulations

Considerations when thinking about breeding:

  • Methods of Breeding for Bitch:
    • Natural Breeding
    • Vaginal Artificial Insemination (AI)
    • Trans Cervical Insemination (TCI)
    • Surgical Insemination
  • Type of Semen to be used:
    • Fresh
    • Fresh Chilled
    • Frozen
  • Ovulation Timing
  • Do you need Vaginal Cultures done?
  • Do you need a Mycoplasma Culture done?
  • Do you need to do Brucellosis testing?

We have put together a “Steps for Success/Preparing to Breed Your Bitch” flyer that you can download from the Forms/Links dropdown above.

Ovulation timing is probably the most important aspect to a successful breeding regardless of the type of semen you use or the method of insemination used.

Currently at our facilities, utilizing ovulation timing and surgical implantation of semen in the bitch, we are running between an 85% to 90% success rate.

Ovulation timing improves the overall conception rate no mater how you do the breeding.

We have put together the “Importance of Ovulation Timing” brochure. You may select this document from the Forms/Links dropdown above.

Successful ovulation timing involves several things:

  • Knowing when the bitch comes into season, d1 (day 1)
  • Progesterone testing beginning on d5 or d6 (day 5 or day 6)
  • LH testing if necessary
  • Vaginal cytology to corroborate progesterone results and physical signs.

The only accurate ovulation tests are from laboratory blood tests! With the quantitative results reported in nanograms/ml.

We have a miniVidas machine in our reproductive center so we do not have to send our progesterone tests out to the lab. The advantages of having our own machine are: you can run daily tests (if necessary) and have the results in an hour as opposed to having to wait 24 to 72 hours for results when sent out to a commercial lab!

If you live outside our area, you can have your vet send us the serum via FedEx for testing. You need to download a Progesterone Level Request Form from the FORMS/LINKS dropdown menu above, and you will need to send along with the serum.

The progesterone tests will help us to estimate when the LH surge occurs and when ovulation occurs. These help us to determine the bitch’s most fertile period for breeding.

Progesterone tests should be run every other day to determine when the LH surge occurs. When the progesterone value doubles or is at least 2.5 – 3.5 ng/ml on the miniVidas scale, this should coincide with LH surge.

Ovulation generally is 48 to 72 hours post LH surge. The eggs then are not capable of being fertilized until 24 hours post ovulation and then receptive for 48 to 72 hours.

When the day of LH surge is determined, consider that day zero. Count forward 3 days and that is the first day for a natural breeding or with chilled semen. Usually, progesterone level is near 15.0 – 20.5 ng/ml on the miniVidas scale.

MiniVidas results vary somewhat from standard laboratory values. Through research we have put together a chart that compares the miniVidas results from our machine to lab (IDEXX) values. You can download and print our Progesterone Value Comparison Chart on the the FORMS/LINKS dropdown menu above.

Frozen semen should be implanted at ideally the point when all three specifics are met:

  • Day 5 or 6 post LH surge
  • 72-96 hours post ovulation
  • Progesterone levels of 35.0 – 40.0 ng/ml on the miniVidas results

LH testing is rarely used today, however, it was most used when planning a frozen semen breeding or when breeding a bitch that has a history of difficulty of conceiving. LH tests must be done daily and the blood must be drawn at approximately the same time each day. LH is only measurable in the bitch for a short period of time (12 to 24 hours) and it can be easy to miss it. An in-house test kit has been available from Synbiotics, however a short shelf life limits its use and it currently has been taken off the market. A link to the Synbiotics website can be found on the the FORMS/LINKS dropdown menu above.

Please Note: Every cycle is different for each bitch. They are never truly the same each cycle. All timelines for when LH Surge and Ovulation occur are if your bitch goes “By the Book”. Many girls have not read “The Book” and therefore do not necessarily follow this progression. Be prepared for your girl to not follow “The Book” and be happy if she does!

You need to determine both the type of semen you intend to use and the method of insemination prior to beginning the progesterone timing of your bitch. The type and method of insemination will determine when to put the semen in the bitch.

Type of Semen

  • Fresh – stud dog is present
  • Chilled – semen is collected elsewhere, cooled down and shipped on ice in a 24 or 48 hour time frame
  • Frozen – semen has been previously collected, frozen and stored

Method of Insemination – some methods work better with certain types of semen than others

  • Vaginal AI: Semen is inserted vaginally and deposited near the cervix via a rigid pipette- NOT recommended with frozen semen
  • Trans-Cervical Insemination (TCI): Semen inserted vaginally using a scope so that the semen is placed through the cervix into the uterus.- Works with chilled, fresh or frozen semen
  • Surgical Insemination: Semen is placed into each horn of the uterus via an abdominal incision.
    -Works with all forms of semen; Recommended method with frozen semen