A.I stands for artificial insemination, this is the method of collecting semen from a dog and artificially inseminating it into a female. There are three different types of A.I. The first is intra vaginal which can be conducted by somebody that has experience and is competent, but is not necessarily a vet. Surgical A.I is another technique which requires a procedure and should only be conducted by a vet. This is typically used when frozen semen is being used so it’s deposited directly into the ovaries for the best success rate. Finally, there is trans cervical insemination, again this should only be conducted by a vet who would use an endoscope (a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it so deep into the body) generally is used for frozen semen to be deposited through the cervix and females having a history of difficult conception.
To date (December 2018) I’ve confirmed a positive pregnancy in over 1,100 animals (mainly dogs), that’s nearly 72% of all my scans are confirmed pregnant. Owners are always surprised when I confirm pregnancy for just one puppy and I’m equally surprised when they comment that it’s rare. I’ve looked over my figures and there’s a 6.4% chance of a pregnancy being a solo puppy, unlike the chances of having a large litter of 10 or more puppies is only 2.3%.
One of the questions I get asked frequently is, how do I know when to C-section my bitch, or how do I know if she needs a C-section?
These decisions can be made significantly easier if the breeder has carried out a few simple checks along the way and throughout the dog's pregnancy. No one can ultimately answer this question, because nobody has a crystal ball, not the breeder, not the vet, not me.
After a recent and significant experience at the vets with a very poorly pregnant dog, I decided to reflect on the situation and collate a checklist for consideration for any future scenarios.
I had a female who's health had deteriorated rapidly in 48hrs. She was approx 52 day gestation and very comfortable.
Full details are in the video but ultimately I decided to c-section at 53 days. The results 8 dead pups, 1 spayed bitch and a £3,000 vet bill due to suspected Canine Maternal Hydrops, would I make the same decision again? YES!
Points to consider when making difficult health related decisions about your dog:
Time seems to go so slow once you've mated your female until the point pregnancy is confirmed (or not!). This video talks through pros and cons of the following pregnancy detection methods:
During the video two ultrasounds are conducted on two separate dogs, whilst I talk through how a correctly, skilled technician should conduct the scans.
Ultrasound scanning when operated by a trained and experienced individual is by far the best method of detecting pregnancy and giving an idea of litter size. To find out why watch the video!
New to breeding? or need a refresh?
Then check out my 30 minute Facebook Live video walking you through the options available to you, when it comes to ovulation testing.
Every breeder should be ovulating testing. WHY?
If that doesn't convince you I'll give up now!
Options covered include:
This is where Sara Lamont the Canine Family Planner founder of HomeScan & Pet Mate Services will be sharing her observations in the world of canine breeding accrued from three decades in the field.