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Previous Next Up Topic Dog Boards / Breeding / Is Progesterone testing ever wrong?
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By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 11:21 GMT
My girl is now on day 11 ( this is the day she successfully concieved her litter 2 years ago).  I am importing chilled semen from overseas so timing is everything!! 
Anyway at the begining of the week her progesterone levels at day 6 were 0.2 Ng/l. On Wednesday they were 0.22 and yeserday Friday they were 0.8. We had hoped they'd be slightly higher and that the semen would be sent Monday for insemination Tuesday but after yeserdays result we have told them it wont be Monday now but are going to retest again on Monday.  I get the results back the same day but I'm still worried it may be too late.  After checking my girl this morning her bleeding is now not so red and starting to go thinner pinkish/straw colour.  Also my girls have starting pestering her and trying to hump her (I know a stud boy would be a better indicator).  I am now thinking should I tell the stud dog owner to go ahead with Monday collection anyway, should I wait and see what Monday brings?  Only problem being Mondays result would come to late for a Monday collection. 
By PDAE (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 11:40 GMT
WHo did ou have it done with?  I've had no problems with the results and times thatthey've given me so far. That's with Idexx.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 12:05 GMT
The lab is Edinburgh. Not sure of the name
By klb (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 12:23 GMT
Ime progesterone is never wrong. Day 11 sound very early for AI, my girl wasn't ready until day 26 for her AI but that was with frozen not chilled semen. The waiting is agony but as you say timing is VITAL to a successful AI.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 13:35 GMT
I am usually a very calm person but this is so stressful! lol
I think Frozen is normally done a few days last than chilled.  What kind of success have you had with
Frozen?  I orginally thought of frozen as at least you can import it over in plenty of time etc, just thought that from
everything I could find out that it wasnt as high a success rate?
Thanks for your reply. 
By JeanSW (****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 13:44 GMT

>After checking my girl this morning her bleeding is now not so red and starting to go thinner pinkish/straw colour.


I am not really sure why people still adhere to this belief.  The discharge does not need to be "straw coloured" for a bitch to conceive.

I have bitches that bleed heavily throughout a season.  During, and after mating.  And continue to bleed until the end of a normal season.  And give birth 8/9 weeks later.

Humping by my other bitches is normal, but they seem to do it even when my stud boy tells me that she isn't ready.  Boys are better at judging than girls!  I will use my boy to let me know the time before dashing off to the other side of the country to the sire of my choice. 

Boys usually get it right.  Bitches will hump just because they're tarts!  :-)  :-)  :-)

And just because she conceived on day 11 last time, please don't think that all bitches have a pattern.  One of my bitches conceived on day 8.  And 2 years later on day 28.
The hurrier I go - the behinder I get!
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 14:16 GMT
Hi Jean yes I know all these things are just small signs that may mean something and nothing, and your right all bitches are totally different and dont follow thier own or anyone elses rules.  My gut instinct is telling me that she's not far off ovulating even though yesterdays results should mean it is still 2-4 days away. 
If I was using a stud in this country I'd have no problem and would tavel with a veiw to staying over for as long as it took but I'm not.  My bitches results were moving but still low yesterday but can I take the risk of waiting for the next blood results on Monday before arranging for the dog to be collected?  The dog lives over 3 hours from the clinic that are collecting him, he then needs to be seen by a ministry vet at another location for the paperwork to be stamped and then droped off at the fedex depo before 5 pm for next day delivery and they are 1 hour in front of us!  I am traveling at 6 am to get to the edinburgh clinic for 8 for them to rush the bloods through but we still wont get them back until lunch time at the earliest, making it too late for any collection to then be arranged that day.
By klb (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 15:48 GMT
with a reading as low as 0.8ng /l on Friday your girl could easily keep you waiting until Wednesday for ovulation. Low levels progesterone can persist up to a week before reaching ovulation so retest monday and see where you are. Fresh chilled semen from young dog with good fertility should last 4-6 days but semen from older dogs or less fertile dogs may not last as long.

Frozen semen AI is done when ova have matured and ready to be fertlised as it doesn't live long post thaw. Unfortunatley I didn't get pups from my AI attempts ( 2) On both occassions my girl was blood tested pregnant and scanned in whelp for mulitple pups but started to reabsorb at 5weeks. She had litters pre AI and one post AI to natural service which were text book. No idea why she should have problems carrying AI litter -- perhaps something genetically didn't gel ?? Who knows.

Good luck , hold your nerve xx
By JeanSW (****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 15:51 GMT
lleonder

You have my sympathies.  What a predicament.  I would go with blood results, but only you know your own  bitch.  Good Luck!
The hurrier I go - the behinder I get!
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 17:14 GMT
For AI they like to inseminate two days after ovulation (when the ova have matured enough to be able to be fertisised), so even if she is close then you still have time.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By mrsnewfie (*) [dk] Date 18.02.12 20:04 GMT
Well I understand your problem. Progesteronlevels can quickly change from low to high and then it is to late.
First time my girl was  to be breed I went for the vets. advice.

My girl was 0,8 ng Wednesday (day 8 in heat) 3,7 ng on Friday and according to vet. Breed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Well on Saturday my male were nuts about her but I thought it was to early and followedvets advice.
On Tuesday (the day we should start breeding) she was at 16,7 ng and for her it was to late.
The blood had also become very light during the weekend when my male was interested.

This time almost same senario.0.6 ng tuesday day 7 in heat. Friday 3,6 ng.  My male started to show interest that day and her bleeding   also started to become lighter.  She was breed that Friday and Sunday and Monday. On monday darker blood again , bleeding stopped Wednesday. Now I am waiting and hoping for pregnancy.

I would go for "gutfeeling" about this. You know your girl. Many goodluck wishes to you!!
By Zajak (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 20:27 GMT Edited 18.02.12 20:31 GMT
I agree with Mrs Newfie.  My bitch sat at a low level (the level normally just on ovulation) for almost a week and then shot up much quicker than the average bitch (typically on a bank holiday weekend).  We had been told we would be fine re testing on the Tuesday, however levels by then were already 48 nmol (different scale than ng) and by the time we get the results well over 24 hours later we were too late to mate.  These things always seem to happen on a weekend don't they?  If we had gone by the "tester" stud dog then we would have gone Sunday or Monday latest, no wonder Wednesday evening was too late.  So the bloods weren't necessarily wrong but didn't work for us due to practicality issues.  Also goes to show that they don't all have levels that increase at the same rate.

If you have enough semen for 2 inseminations then I would go by your gut.

Good luck Mrs Newfie, hope your girl has taken this time.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 20:51 GMT
Thanks for all the replies :-)
I have been so stressed about all this, if i'd known in advance how complex the whole thing from license to the final AI was going to be I wouldnt have done it, but as I am very particular and couldnt find the perfect match in this country I went with it.  My costs without stud fees are going to be around 1300. ( dont tell my husband!) 
Anyway I have now told them to go ahead and collect on Monday for it to arrive Tuesday.  That gives me at least 5 days and possibly up to 7 with the chilled. I really feel if it was a natural mating I'd have left today to try her.  The only benifit I have is that even if she has shot up and ovulated today, the eggs take 2 days to reach maturity and that is when we would start the inseminations.  I'm told the eggs last 3-4 days after maturing?  so if thats right then we shouldnt miss it.  (fingers crossed)
By Zajak (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 21:02 GMT
Don't mean to panic you but eggs last 2-3 days after maturing, some only 24 hours, some 3 days.  Basically you have around 4 days from ovulation, around 48 hours for eggs to become fertile and then they stay fertile for around 48 hours.  If ovulating today then you should (theoretically) be ok until Wednesday and then eggs may be starting to die off.  All individual to the bitch of course.
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 21:14 GMT
That is why I opted to travel with the bitch for mating, and have her mated on alternate days for as long as she and the dog would be happy to.

As you say with all the palava and costs to do the collection transportation, handling and  AI, it seemed by far the better option.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By JeanSW (****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 22:27 GMT

>I have been so stressed about all this


You sound it!  {{HUGS}}  But it does sound as if you have the time, and we are all sending positive vibes.

AND
None of us on here will breathe a whisper to your husband.  :-)  :-)
The hurrier I go - the behinder I get!
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 18.02.12 22:45 GMT
My husband deosn't know the dogs costs either.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 18.02.12 23:12 GMT
Thanks I will keep you all posted how we get on. 
By mrsnewfie (*) [se] Date 19.02.12 05:54 GMT
Thank you. She is going for a scan on Friday so then I will know.
By LucyDogs (****) [gb] Date 19.02.12 07:09 GMT
Sadly my husband is in charge of the accounts, so he knows only too well how much I spend on the dogs. I think he's almost reached the point of despair and giving up though! :-) Good luck with your girl!
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 19.02.12 11:06 GMT
Good luck on Friday!  :-)
By mrsnewfie (*) [se] Date 20.02.12 07:27 GMT
Thanks!!
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 20.02.12 18:31 GMT
Well took my girl at 8 this morning for her blood test. Spent most of the morning expecting a call to say re-test Wednesday!  But.....she had jumped to 4.9ng :-)  Just as well as I had visions of the semen laying for 7days and then being no use!
Emailed the stud dog owner who has mailed me back to say the semen is now in the hands of Fedex, everything went well, semen was excellent and 1.5billion sperm ( havnt a clue if this is good or bad?)  So just need it to arrive here safely now and will be inseminating late tomorrow or first thing Wednesday and then again 2 days later.
thanks everyone for listening to my frantic rants.
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 20.02.12 18:49 GMT
How exciting, the readign, what does it mean?  Does it mean she has already ovulated?
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By klb (**) [gb] Date 20.02.12 19:09 GMT
4.9ng or 15.5nmol/l - I would read as ovulation impending or just occurred. Estimated breeding window 2  / 4 days. Personally would opt  for Wednesday / Friday insemination.  Hope all goes well and do let us know if you get pups. Who is doing your AI - just out of interest? Curious in case I try again with another bitch.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 20.02.12 19:14 GMT Edited 20.02.12 19:16 GMT
Thats what I was thinking going by what I found on here about progesterone readings. 
I'm using Innovis in Edinburgh

http://www.innovis.org.uk/breedingservices/dogs.asp
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 20.02.12 19:39 GMT
I see they have a centre at Malvern, now that would be wihin an hour and a half's drive for me.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By klb (**) [gb] Date 20.02.12 20:00 GMT
Thanks for that .. Off to mooch round the web site :-)
By mrsnewfie (*) [se] Date 21.02.12 07:39 GMT
How exciting!! And your "gutfeel" was right.
From now it is possible that she will rise  very quickly in progesteron.

A breeder I know always starting to breed or inseminate(fresh semen) at around 5 ng then again at 8-10 ng and a third time after that. She has always gotten puppies except once.  That was with  a bitch who was breed 6 times and got pregnant 2 times with complications.

Holding my fingers crossed for you!! Keep us updated!!
By welshie (***) Date 21.02.12 12:34 GMT
i know this is probably a daft question but for the cost and worry of AI would it not work out around the same price to go to the stud dog?
Or is it a long long way?
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 21.02.12 23:36 GMT
I found it cheaper and obviously more likely to succeed to travel, but mien is a medium size breed with no issues re transport by air.

Some airlines won't fly certain breeds, especially short nosed ones, have embargoes on carrying dogs May to Sept and any time it's over a certain temperature.

Some airlines can't accommodate anything over a 42 inch long x 30 inch high travel container, and this can be a real issue with larger breeds.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 00:36 GMT
Never even thought of flying.  Didnt fancy the 3 day each way trip by road.  I'm not keen on boats and the tunnel doesnt appeal to me either :-)
My girl is 28in to shoulder and weighs  around 54kg so I'm guessing if I found any airline to take her it was cost a small fortune. 
Well tomorrow morning is first insemination so fingers crossed it all goes ok.  Then the 28 day wait......what a killer that will be.
By Brainless (*****) [gb] Date 22.02.12 00:56 GMT
Everything crossed.
Barbara and the Grey Curly Tails.
By welshie (***) Date 22.02.12 11:34 GMT
yep keep us posted
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 13:23 GMT
well had the AI done. All went well but they did comment that the sperm was now only 50% instead of the 80% it had been on Monday.  She did see she's seen lower produce pups but still not what I wanted to hear.  Going back Friday for next one.
By klb (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 16:39 GMT
Fingers crossed, canine semen does seem very delicate in comparison with other animals. did you have TCI rather than vaginal deposit ? If so that should help as the swimmers won't have to swin so far !!!
By Rhodach (***) [gb] Date 22.02.12 17:29 GMT
WOW I didn't think it would go down so quickly, I thought it would be nearer the limit of the sample before the viable count would go down.

Can I ask are the KC getting more relaxed about AI these days? Seems more posters mentioning it lately.

A friend in the US is using frozen sperm from a dog who has been dead over 10 yrs, someone recently used the same studs semen and got an over average size litter which was a surprise, it really is pot luck.
Rhona and the Long,Low and Level Hounds
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 17:51 GMT
Yes its trancervical insemination.  Was much like a natural mating in a way.  After they had inserted the semen they insert some other thing.  Inflate it a bit once inside and this causes the bitches uterus to contract as if in a tie, we had to hold hold onto her for 20 minutes during this so felt like a normal tie lol. 
The kennel club are fine with this they only get funny if its to be done surgically and then have to have a good reason. If she goes on to have a litter then there is an extra form for registering a litter from an AI mating but its very simple.  Any puppies produced from a AI mating that go on to be bred from must produce thier 1st litter from a natural mating.
By Rhodach (***) [gb] Date 22.02.12 18:01 GMT
Thanks for that not that I am thinking of doing AI although there seems to be more talk these days of collecting from some of the best examples of the breed for future use.

Sounds like the balloon on a catheter being inflated in the vagina to simulate a males tie, never heard of this being done before, learn something new every day.

Rhona
Rhona and the Long,Low and Level Hounds
By Jeangenie (*****) [gb] Date 22.02.12 18:30 GMT

>The kennel club are fine with this they only get funny if its to be done surgically and then have to have a good reason.


They also have to have given advance permission for any AI procedure, of course.
A closed mouth gathers no feet
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 19:51 GMT
You dont need advance permission anymore providing youve kept within the KC guidelines :-)
By Stooge (***) [at] Date 22.02.12 20:51 GMT

> Yes its trancervical insemination.  Was much like a natural mating in a way. 


Transcervical means going beyond the cervical os so really a very invasive procedure and certainly not resembling a natural mating in anyway.  Do the Kennel Club guidlines really allow this? confused
By Ells-Bells (***) [gb] Date 22.02.12 20:55 GMT
Certainly looks as though it's ok - see http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/478
By Stooge (***) [at] Date 22.02.12 21:08 GMT
Mmmm I am very familiar with human procedures involving the passing of fine instruments through the cervix and I know how uncomfortable it can be particularly where there has been no previous vagianal delivery.  Not something I would consider for a bitch I have to say. 
By klb (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 21:56 GMT
KC guidance changed some years ago, previously most AI was done surgical and you required written permission. When BVA supported Transcervical route as being less invasive the KC removed the requirement for prior permission as long as TC used. Any sugical inseminations require prior permission and if TC is not possible and surgical route used on the day supporting evidence is ( I believe) required before litter is registered.
By Stooge (***) [at] Date 22.02.12 22:34 GMT Edited 22.02.12 22:37 GMT

> previously most AI was done surgical


I had always assumed it was performed by simply depositing a pipelle of semen high vaginally.  I can't imagine what the surgical method involved, can you explain?

>The General Committee will not normally accept an application to register an AI litter if the donor male is alive and domiciled in the United Kingdom,


I note that permission is still generally only given for imported semen.
By lleonder (**) [gb] Date 22.02.12 22:44 GMT
My girl isnt a maiden bitch but I can asure you my she was eating treats from my hand during the procedure, something she would not be doing if it was causing her pain!  I know of someone who used TCI on a maiden bitch last year and said she was absolutly fine with the procedure.
By JeanSW (****) [gb] Date 22.02.12 23:31 GMT
WOW I didn't think it would go down so quickly

I'm amazed that it is still 50% TBH, as I know from experience that equine semen drops fast.  Never looked at canine under a microscope, but wouldn't have thought there would be huge differences.
The hurrier I go - the behinder I get!
By klb (**) [gb] Date 23.02.12 17:15 GMT
Frozen or chilled semen has reduced motility or swim power, numbers of live sperm may be good but as they have reduced ability to swim, and they do not live as long after chilling (or even more life limited after freezing - a matter of hours rather than days) vaginal deposit is highly unlikely ( if not impossible) to result in pregnancy.

With surgical insemination there is a small incision to abdomen and the horns of uterus found and semen placed directly into the horn where the ripe ova are waiting ( if you have you timing correct) It is a short procedure,light GA and having had two done my girl was back home after a few hours and a bit woozy similar to having light GA for hip score. Wound was close with glue and was no more than 1 inch.

TCI requires no GA and is generally will tolerated by most bitches, even tiny ones. This deposits semen in uterus directly behind cervix so a bit more swim is required for sperm to meet egg.

You only require permission for surgical inseminations, no permission required for TCI with semen from dogs that have died or live outside UK. You cannot use AI if the sire is alive and resident in UK - Unless you have an Irish wolfhound stub over 8years Or if your stud of any breed is over 12 and has reduced fertility due to age related degeneration.
By Stooge (***) [at] Date 23.02.12 20:25 GMT

> TCI requires no GA and is generally will tolerated by most bitches, even tiny ones.


It's the generally well tolerated that troubles me a little.  My experience is obviously with humans but the cervix is not designed to be dilated, indeed it's purpose is to protect the uterus from ingress from anything bigger than a sperm.  In women, any similar procedure generally results in uterine cramps at the very least and vasovagal attacks, even shock at worst.  Any dilation is generally performed with analgesia at least and often local anaesthetic if not a full general.
Whilst I can see that new blood from abroad is of great value to some breeds I do wonder if we forget this is just pedigree dogs for our own pleasure and therefore wonder if such invasive procedures are trully justified.
I'm sorry, but I cannot imagine under any circumstances the surgical procedure you describe being justified.
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