1. How long does frozen semen keep in storage?
The technology that created this canine semen freezing technique has been around for 36 years and we are using semen that has been stored that long and getting puppies!! We are assuming the semen will be good for an indefinite period of time as long as it is kept at a constant temperature in liquid nitrogen.
2. What if the electricity goes out, what happens to the semen?
The storage tanks are completely self contained using liquid nitrogen. No electricity is required so power failures are not a problem!!
3. Why should I choose Sirius Canine Fertility?
Our entire staff at Sirius Canine Fertility, Inc take this very seriously and the level of passion they have in their work really shows! The technical staff is completely dedicated to ensuring your breedings are done according to your bitch’s schedule, not our schedule or convenience. Our techs spend many hours educating clients and talking to clients to make sure the best possible procedures are done for that particular bitch. Our success rate with Transcervical Insemination, done in our office is over 85%. With services like one hour progesterone testing, we can pinpoint ovulation timing even better. There is no facility out there that offers better customer service! We believe in always staying on the cutting edge of technology, our equipment is state of the art, from our Sperm Vision CASA equipment, to our TCI machines, to the one hour progesterone assay testing equipment. Our technicians stay very current on continuing education and we routinely attend Veterinary Theriogenology seminars to make sure we have the most current information and data available.
4. What are the differences between fresh, fresh chilled, and frozen semen?
Fresh semen is when you have the dog and bitch available, the collection is done from the male and immediately inseminated into the bitch. Fresh chilled semen is collected and added to our media and shipped to the bitch owner in one of our Puppy Paks. It is very simple to use and can be shipped almost anywhere! The semen when mixed with our media lives for several days. On one of my own dog’s semen, I tested it over a 2 weeks period and still had motility after 2 weeks!! Frozen semen generally lives about 12-18 hours on average after thawing. We have had success using frozen semen for vaginal artificial inseminations, but recommend the surgical implant or transcervical procedure for frozen semen. Fresh or fresh chilled semen can be implanted with vaginal inseminations, surgical inseminations or
5. What are your success rates using frozen semen at your facility?
Outstanding! We offer in-house, Transcervical inseminations for either fresh, fresh chilled, or frozen semen. Our technicians have vast experience in the TCI procedure and are up to date on the newest techniques. We do not thaw your frozen semen prior to passing the catheter during the TCI procedure. This ensures that the procedure can be done on your bitch prior to thawing semen, and takes away any chance that your bitch cannot be catheterized and your semen wasted. This also makes sure the semen’s life is saved for when it is needed, not spent while waiting for the time to inseminate. We use a couple of different veterinary hospitals in this area for our surgical implants using frozen semen. Our success rates for these are over 85%, as good, if not better than natural breedings!!
6. My bitch is flagging and her vaginal smears are cornified, do I still need to do progesterone testing?
If you want the best chance of success, then yes, progesterone testing is necessary. Behaviors like “flagging” and vaginal cytology indicating cornification are estrogen induced. Ovulation is progesterone induced. These should be in sync with each other, but we are finding over and over again, they are not. The bitches don’t seem to be reading the “how to” manual, so many times, the estrogen levels are high enough to cause flagging and vaginal cytology changes, but their progesterone levels have not risen to trigger ovulation. If you are using frozen semen, progesterone testing must be done to ensure the semen, which only lives 12-18 hours, is implanted at the correct time.
7. My vet uses an “in-house” progesterone test, is this ok?
This depends on the type of in-house test your vet utilizes. If they are using a color change test, I would recommend against it for the most accurate timing. If your vet has the same equipment as we do, in-house, quantitative analyzers for progesterone assay ( most do not) then this type of in-house testing would be recommended. This particular equipment is extremely costly, so unless the Veterinary Hospital is running many many progesterones tests per month, than the cost would not warrant this type of equipment. When your vet or breeder friends are referring to “in-house” testing, make sure of which type they are talking about.
8. I live in Canada, my progesterone numbers are different. How do I interpret them?
The progesterone levels here are recorded in nanograms and the testing done in Canada is recorded in nanomoles so it is not comparing apples to apples. The nanogram is multiplied by 3.14 to compare to the Canadian system. Generally we say a bitch ovulated around 5.0ng on our system, it would be around 16nmol on the Canadian system. Not all labs report in Nanomoles, so be sure to check which one your results are reported in.
9. What procedure is best for using frozen semen on my bitch?
This can vary depending on age of bitch, reproductive history, etc. but generally speaking we recommend the Transcervical insemination. The second option would be the surgical implant. We prefer TCI to surgical because there is no surgery, no recovery time and we feel MUCH less stress to the bitch. The procedure takes about 15 minutes to 30 minutes and we prefer the owners are there with the bitch, watching the entire procedure. It is quite fascinating, and we love to educate about this great technique. There are some downsides to the procedure, and typically those would apply on older bitches as we cannot see inside, the uterus cannot be visualized so cysts and other abnormalities would not be seen. If the TCI procedure has been tried, and all parameters were optimal, then we do recommend the surgical implant. If semen is extra questionable, we also recommend surgicals. Having said this, the other extremely important piece is the experience factor of the person doing the TCI. Do they have hundreds of them under their belt? Only a few? You want to make sure someone doing your TCI is very experienced, if they are not and are your only option, then surgical would be a better choice. We very rarely do regular Vaginal inseminations any more, due to the convenience and higher success rate of the TCI. However, we also offer these if using fresh or fresh chilled semen of good quality.
10. My dog has an enlarged prostate, is neutering the only option?
No! We have some treatment options we can share with your veterinarian that can treat prostatitis. Generally Ovaban or Proscar are used for treatment, and we have seen outstanding results. Of course, if the dog is not being shown and is no longer being used for breeding, it is the healthiest option to neuter him, but these treatments work well when neutering is not an option.
11. What is the best age to collect my dog for freezing semen?
The best age is generally 2-5 years of age, although I feel the younger the better! Semen from a younger dog is stronger and survives the freezing process better. Some breeds we collect as young as 1 year of age and have great results! In some occasions, dog’s that are working or on the show circuit need to be done after they are retired or on a break. Just like with athletes, their fertility can be altered with stress.
12. I have heard about your fertility supplement, what does it do?
Our Fertility Supplement was originally developed for arthritis. In using it in the older, arthritic dogs, some interesting side effects were discovered. The testes on many males firmed up and semen quality was improved. The semen samples were stronger and survived better for shipping semen or for freezing semen. In bitches, the cycles were regulated and fertility seems to be increased. It seems to stop them from having split cycles also. For those bitches that were having irregular cycles, the entire body seemed to be in harmony and they had normal cycles. There is no drugs in this product, it is all natural. It does not cure every dog, but does not harm any of them. I even have some clients using it for bitches to keep them from shedding and blowing coats after being in season! They swear by it!!
13. What is the optimum progesterone level at the time of breeding?
What is the optimum progesterone level at the time of breeding? This also varies from bitch to bitch, but we like to see a significant rise of at least 3ng in a 24 hour period and we call this ovulation. For Frozen or fresh chilled semen, we like to do the TCI 3 and another one at 4 days after ovulation. If only one TCI or surgical can be done, then we go with 3 – 3 1/2 days post ovulation. We have found bitches are most fertile at days 3 and 4 post ovulation, especially if we are putting semen directly into the uterus via TCI or surgical. Again, our techs will analyze all of the numbers and come up with a plan according to how your bitch is progressing. Typically at the time of procedure, we like to see bitches well over 20ng.
14. I have a bitch I want to breed and need a stud dog. Do you have a catalog what I can choose one from?
No, we do not. Unlike the cattle industry, all of the information on the dog’s we have stored is confidential. I know in the cattle industry they have catalogs available for you to pick out a bull of your choice, but we cannot offer that. You would need to contact breeders directly and find out if they have semen frozen with us. Once you find a stud dog and the breeder agrees to allow you access to the semen, the stud dog owner would fill out a form releasing the semen to you for that breeding.