By performing various simple and safe tests on an unspayed bitch we can determine where in their oestrous cycle (heat cycle) she may be. This information is useful to potential breeders so that they know when to take the female for mating if the male does not also belong to them. These tests include testing the female’s sexual reflexes, a speculum examination of the vagina to assess the colour and size of the vaginal folds and lastly a smear is made of the vaginal epithelium to analyse the cells under the microscope. Using these three tests in combination with an accurate history from the owner, a vet can often quite accurately determine exactly where in her oestrous a bitch is and when she will be ready for mating. These tests are also performed before artificial insemination to ensure that the bitch is still on heat before the AI is performed.
AI – artificial insemination
This involves collecting fresh semen from a sexually mature male, which is then analysed under the microscope to check for good gross motility by the sperm. If a good sample is obtained then this will be inseminated into the cranial vagina of a healthy sexually mature female (which is at the right stage in her oestrous cycle). Often this process is repeated every two days, until the bitch comes off heat, to ensure the highest chance of conception. Included in our price for Artificial Insemination is a sonar at 30 days post AI to determine if the bitch is pregnant.
Keeping a healthy mother - see Complete Companion Animal Care
Helping you through the birth process
Sometimes, especially for new or first time breeders, the entire birthing process can be quite scary because you may not know what to expect or how to identify potential problems and when to call your vet. For this reason we are available 24 hours a day to assist in any emergencies, including middle of the night caesarean sections, but that is not always necessary, sometimes with simple manipulation of the foetus or by using specific drugs the vet may be able to assist the new mother with the birthing process without performing a caesarean section. If you are ever worried, simply call us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We have also compiled a very useful article on the entire birthing process and what to expect, this should help you identify what is a true emergency. Read more...
Caesarean Section - See Caesarean section under Advanced Surgical Procedures