Semen Collection & Analysis
As a leader in Florida’s pet reproduction community, Highland Pet Hospital offers semen collection, analysis and storage services for your breeding needs.
Semen collection and analysis is often overlooked by novice breeders in terms of its importance in the breeding process. The way that your stud’s semen is collected can play a major role in the amount of the semen collected- as well as the quality of the sample. Our years of experience in collecting semen will ensure that your stud’s sample is of the highest quality and handled with the best care.
Why does my stud need to have his semen evaluated?
A good semen evaluation will give confidence to breeders that your stud will be able to successfully impregnate the female. There are numerous factors that can degrade your stud’s semen, and we will look closely at all of these factors. They include, but are not limited to:
Semen has three fractions or parts. The first fraction of the ejaculate, called the pre-ejaculate fluid, ranges in volume from 0.1 to 1.0 ml. The second part is the sperm-rich fraction, which is generally from 0.1 to 6 ml, depending on the size and breed of the dog. The third fraction is the prostatic fluid, which normally ranges from 1.0 to 20.0 ml.
What are we looking for when we evaluate the semen?
Evaluation of a semen sample includes assessment of color; sperm motility, concentration, and morphology; and, the presence of other ceOs or bacteria.
Color: Healthy canine semen should be pearly white or translucent in color. Yellow semen indicates urine contamination, and urine is toxic to sperm. Red discoloration indicates that blood is present either from trauma, prostate problems or infection.
Sperm Motility: Since sperm have to be able to travel up the bitch’s reproductive tract toward her eggs, the measure of how well sperm are moving and in what direction is important. A reading of 70% or greater motility is rated very good, 30% – 50% motility is fair, and 10% – 30 % demonstrates poor motility. Sperm should be moving rapidly forward, not in circles.
Morphology: Morphology is the evaluation of the structure of the individual sperm. Sperm have three parts: the head, which has a cap called an acrosome; the mid-piece, the location of the mitochondria or energy source; and, the tail. All three are important-the head for the genetic material, the mid-piece for energy to move and the tail to propel the sperm up the reproductive tract. Abnormal structure in any part may affect sperm movement or function. To be considered normal, a minimum of 80% of the sperm should have normal morphology.
Other cells or bacteria: The final consideration is to look for cells and bacteria in the semen sample. Normally there are few cells seen in an ejaculate; however, certain prostatic diseases may cause high numbers to be present. Excessive bacteria may indicate the possibility of infection, either in the testicles or the prostate.
Not all dogs meet the criteria we’re looking for. If your stud doesn’t meet these criteria, we can discuss possible factors that lead to a less than ideal evaluation. Some of these factors may be medications, environmental factors and more. If we identify an issue, we can take corrective action and re-test your stud’s semen- usually within about 2 months.