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Reproductive Services

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Reproductive Services
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For most animals, breeding is something that comes naturally. Occasionally, however, Mother Nature could use a helping hand. The Luv-N-Care Animal Hospital team is skilled and experienced in pet reproductive medicine. Need help preserving and continuing that precious bloodline in your purebred pet? Want to ensure that things go right the first time, and everything goes smoothly from conception through birth? We can help!

From comprehensive pre-pregnancy exams and reproduction evaluations to troubleshooting infertility issues and pregnancy monitoring, we’ll work with you to determine the best course of action to improve the likelihood of your pet successfully breeding.

At Luv-N-Care Animal Hospital, we utilize state-of-the-art tools and techniques, including digital radiography and ultrasound as well as hormone testing with progesterone monitoring to time breeding as well as elective C-Sections as needed.

Our in-depth reproductive services include, but are not limited to:

  • Basic OFA Certificates of the Hips, Elbows, Thyroid, and more
  • Pre-breeding examinations
  • Ovulation timing
  • Progesterone testing
  • Semen collection and evaluation
  • Artificial insemination (surgical & non-surgical)
  • Pregnancy testing and monitoring
  • Cesarean deliveries
  • Infertility evaluations

If you’ve been struggling with breeding your pet, don’t leave it up to chance. Increase your odds of success by working with one of the reproductive specialists at Luv-N-Care Animal Hospital today!

Helpful Links

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals – ofa.org

Breeding FAQs

For most dogs, we recommend coming in 3-5 days after signs of heat begin. A physical exam is performed during the reproductive consultation, and a plan is formed based on the type of insemination and availability of the stud dog. Progesterone levels are parameters we use to evaluate her cycle, and recommend a window of optimum fertility. We receive same-day progesterone results on an Idexx lab machine.

Conception rates and litter size will be optimized with ovulation timing. Her cycle can vary greatly. Both the male and female are involved in a successful conception, so it is important for us to evaluate both her cycle and his semen before insemination occurs. Selecting a stud dog with a previous history of good conception rates and litter sizes is an excellent choice to increase reproductive efficiency of your program. Trans-cervical & surgical insemination will result in the highest pregnancy rates and litter sizes of the modalities we commonly use. Natural breeding in reproductively healthy animals also will have excellent conception rates.

The vaginal AI is a procedure in which a small catheter is passed into the vagina close to the cervical opening, where semen is deposited. This procedure simulates where semen would be placed in a natural breeding. It is an excellent choice for two dogs of excellent fertility that cannot be bred naturally due to temperament, size, or location of the stud dog.

Trans-cervical insemination is a procedure in which a semi-flexible endoscope is placed into the vagina and the cervix is visualized using a camera. The cervix is catheterized, and the semen is placed into the uterus. The animal is awake during the procedure. Fresh, fresh chilled, or frozen semen can be successfully used by this method.

Surgical insemination is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. The patient is aseptically prepped and a small incision is made on the midline of the abdomen to access the uterus. The semen is injected directly into each uterine horn and massaged. The incision is closed like a spay procedure.

We recommend seeing patients 21-28 days after the last breeding. Heartbeats and fetal health can be evaluated at this time via ultrasound.

Digital radiographs can be performed at least 50 days after breeding. This is recommended for getting a specific puppy count, as well as evaluating the birth canal width in relation to puppy size. If puppies are too large, a caesarian section may be indicated. If you have a clear idea of how many puppies she should have, you can make better decisions at home before deciding she needs veterinary help. If she delivers 6 puppies
(and you saw 8 on radiograph), then stops pushing and seems “done”, you know that she may need assistance to complete her delivery.

Ideally, an accurate due date range can be established based on proper ovulation timing at the time of breeding. Close to her due date, we will monitor the drop in her progesterone concentrations to determine whether she is fully term. It is also possible to evaluate the fetuses with ultrasound to determine how “ready” they are.

Yes. There are always staff members available to handle your emergent situations during our open business hours.

Yes. Every breed has its own health concerns for which screening evaluation(s) should be performed. This will help to lower the risk of genetic or congenital defects for the offspring. OFA certification of hips, elbows, shoulder, and cardiac evaluations should be performed. OFA dentition and thyroid testing are also available.

Additional testing, such as BAER (hearing) testing, and CERF (eye) evaluations can be performed at nearby referral centers.

Brucellosis is a sexually transmitted disease between dogs that cannot be cured. Brucellosis is considered a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans. A simple blood test can screen and further prevent spread of this disease

For female dogs, “all life stages”/puppy diets are appropriate for early and late pregnancy, as well as during lactation. For stud dogs and non-pregnant or lactating females, most adult formulations are adequate. Well-made foods with complete AAFCO certifications (both an analysis of the ingredients and a feeding trial) are excellent choices. Supplementation of minerals, vitamins, and other additions is not necessary if the dog is on a high quality food, and it is not generally recommended.

Even with ovulation timing and good breeding management, pregnancy does not always result. The #1 reason for perceived “infertility” is improper timing for natural breeding or other insemination techniques. After two attempts with good timing without diagnosed pregnancy, further evaluation is often indicated. There are many things that can result in poor conception rates, which include uterine problems, contagious disease, stress, issues with the stud dog, and others. Diagnostics such as physical examination, discussion of at-home care, uterine cultures, or uterine biopsy may help to further understand a cause for infertility.

If an animal is bred accidentally and conceives, a few options exist for treatment. In the case of animals that do not have future breeding plans, ovariohysterectomy (spay) is an excellent solution. If the animal is involved in a breeding program, the pregnancy can be terminated medically. If performed properly, this should not impair her future fertility, and she can be bred successfully at a later date. Some owners will choose to have them carry the pregnancy, and pregnancy monitoring would commence at that time

The appropriate age for breeding a dog depends on several factors, including the breed, the individual dog’s health, maturity, and reproductive readiness. In general, it’s recommended to wait until a dog is at least 1.5-2 years old before considering breeding.

Breeding should be approached with careful consideration and responsibility. It’s important to prioritize the health and welfare of your dog and any potential offspring. Generally, up to 2 breeding cycles is ideal. One of our experienced veterinarians can provide personalized advice based on your dog’s specific situation.

To ensure the best possible outcome for your pet’s breeding, we highly recommend planning ahead with a reproductive consultation and progesterone testing. This helps us pinpoint the optimal timing accurately. While we strive to accommodate your needs, including weekends if necessary, our reproductive veterinarians may not always be available. During weekdays, we suggest morning appointments to ensure the procedure aligns with our business hours. Your pet’s well-being is our top priority, and we’ll work diligently to make the process as smooth as possible.

Luv-N-Care Animal Hospital

1482 N Ronald Reagan Blvd
Longwood, FL 32750
t: 407-767-0606

Also serving Orlando, FL and surrounding areas.

Working Hours

Monday: 7:30am – 7:00pm
Tues-Thurs: 7:30am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 7:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 3:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am – 4:00pm