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Monash Veterinary Clinic

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1662 Dandenong Rd
Oakleigh East, VIC 3166

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Artificial Insemination (AI) of Fresh Canine Semen

There are a number of options for vaginal insemination available in the general practice setting. When considering what is best to use we must consider what occurs during a natural mating in the dog (and where the semen needs to be deposited). In a natural mating the penis is erect with the enlarged penis distending the vagina of the bitch which releases oxytocin to stimulate uterine contractions and draw the semen up to the fallopian tubes. The opening of the penis during the ejaculation lies at the opening of the cervix. In order to maximise the success of a vaginal insemination we need to try to emulate the natural situation.

We use Mavic Catheters for all vaginal artificial inseminations. Developed by Minitube, they comprise a plastic catheter with a malleable permanent stylet. There is a balloon at the end which is inflated with a syringe once in place and then the semen can be instilled through the centre channel which contains a valve to prevent back flow of semen. The Mavic catheter is the best AI device on the market for vaginal insemination.

Insemination Procedure

Traditionally an insemination of a bitch has been done by collecting the semen and prostate fractions into a jar together, drawing the fluid into a syringe and inseminating the bitch with a bovine pipette quickly and then holding the back end of the bitch up for 5-10 minutes. This procedure is far from ideal and will result in much lower pregnancy rates and smaller litter sizes than what is achieved via natural matings. Fresh artificial inseminations should achieve an equivalent, if not superior, pregnancy rate than natural matings if performed optimally (this is what is achieved with the Mavic catheter).


Transcervical Insemination (TCI)

In many instances we will recommend transcervical insemination over intravaginal insemination. TCI deposits the semen directly into the uterus and allows us to utilise poorer quality semen and successfully inseminate bitches at late states of their season. It must be noted that TCI can be, and in our opinion, should be, used for all fresh semen inseminations. TCI is as close as we can get to a natural mating artificially.

Careful separation of the canine semen ejaculate, appropriate assessment with a phase contrast microscope and good technique with TCI or the Mavic catheter by Monash Veterinary Clinic Veterinarians ensures your bitch has the best chance of pregnancy. We utilise a Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) system made by Minitube of America (Spermvision SARepro) which accurately assesses the motility and the number of sperm collected in an ejaculate, making our assessment technique the most advanced in Australia. Artificial inseminations should only be performed by qualified Veterinarians to ensure the procedure is performed safely. Inferior knowledge of anatomy could result in the semen being deposited into the bladder or also trauma to the reproductive tract of the bitch.