Ovulation Day Consistency

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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Calvinator » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:42 pm

Dr. Hutchinson once told me that transcervical AI's have about a 76% success rate and surgical AI's have about a 95% success rate. Transcervical did not work for us. A friend with Great Danes has not had success with transcervical. Our surgical AI's were 100% success. A litter of 6 (3 males, 3 females) and a litter of 9 (3 males, 6 females).
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Cora's Shadow » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:02 am

I have not heard anything about expecting more males than females in artificially-bred litters before. The reproductive vet I used never mentioned it. He did, however, explain the overall litter size to me. He said that most of the bitches he breeds artificially (surgical AI), end up with litter sizes that are normal or above average. He said that his litter sizes can be larger because the timing of the breeding with a surgery is so precise; he does progesterone tests 3 times a day throughout the heat cycle to find the right day and time to do the surgery.

He also pointed out that during the surgery, he is inserting about 100 million sperm. If you do a natural breeding and get a few different ties throughout the week, your dog would be getting inseminated with about 1 billion sperm. So the question becomes, is your dog going to have more puppies if bred with 100 million sperm or 1 billion sperm? For most dogs, it probably won't matter much but there is a chance of an increased litter size with that many more sperm.

I should point out that an artificial breeding will have different results if the stud dog's sperm is of lower quality. For example, the dog I used for my AI litter had over 90% viable sperm prior to freezing. After freezing and thawing, his sperm was still 85% viable so we had a very good chance of getting a normal-sized litter. The vet can't sort out the viable sperm from the nonviable sperm so if you are using a dog that is only 50% viable after freezing and thawing, you would have a lot lower chance of getting a good-sized litter. But the good thing about freezing semen is that the vet measures viability before and after freezing so you should have a good idea of your chances before you even try the breeding.

Personally, I have only bred one dog artificially one time. The vet used surgical AI and we ended up with a litter of 7 puppies. There were 4 males and 3 females. It looks like I might be doing another artificial breeding this spring with a different male and am expecting another normal-sized litter. Hopefully the male:female ratio will be close to 1:1, but that is out of my hands. I just did a natural breeding this fall with a male that previously threw a litter of 3 females and 2 males....and yet I got a litter of 1 female and 5 males. Sometimes, that is just the luck of the draw.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby doco » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:56 am

IMO, I don't think that the amount of viable sperm dictate the amount of puppies. It is probably more of the number of fertilizable eggs that the bitch drops. The eggs have to be there to be fertilized first. Then they have to implant into the uterine horns. If eight eggs drop, then that would be the max regardless of how many sperm are introduced, natural, surgical, or transcervical. I truly feel the size of the litter is dicated by the female. The sex of the puppies are definitively dictated by the sperm.

All in all, we can not guesstimate how many eggs will drop, be fertilized, or implant. All we can do is throw the dice and see what we get. Sooner or later, just like with humans, they can spin the sperm and separate the males from females, but we probably won't see that in our world until the cost comes down. $2500 just to increase the odds in a litter probably won't fly unless the desire is there for a certain sex out of a certain breeding outweighs the cost. Just my opinion.

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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Jägerherzen » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:51 pm

This is a late posting, but here goes.
A few points based on the preceding comments of 3 others. Starting with the posting with link about Clone. I first did quite a bit of reading and research on it a couple of years ago when I first hoped Dusty would be a breeding candidate, which she was not and AI wasn’t a DLV approved option at the time anyway although now it is. Few people know of it or have heard about it. I have brought it up in seminars and conversation and there are also a number of vets who have not heard of it. Surgical insemination seems to be all the rage now. More on that later.

Some background on Clone for those who didn’t follow the link. The use of frozen semen inseminated using the Norwegian Catheter Trans-cervical Insemination technique is 87% successful. In addition to this technique used, CLONE developed its own extender solutions for preparing and preserving the semen as well as for thawing out the semen. These solutions are one of the major factors that make the CLONE system different from all other systems available. With the CLONE method of freezing the motility of the semen is generally over 70% after de-thawing. With other methods the motility rates of de-thawed semen is often about 40 – 50 % and even lower. Research has shown that the fertility rate starts to decline rapidly after the motility of the post-thawed semen decreases below 50 %. Also the semen frozen by CLONE maintains their motility for up to 3 days after de-thawing, in refrigerator temperatures. There are 18 centers in the U.S. and 13 in Europe including one in Dortmund, Germany. For best results, collection at a Clone facility and receipt by another Clone facility is advised. All inseminations are done at Clone facilities. In cases for collection abroad, it might be an added expense and problematic from a logistical standpoint, but may be achievable.

According to published interviews by Dr. Hutchinson with progesterone testing, they can get 83 percent conception rates with frozen semen. According to Dr. Hutchinson the transcervical (TCI) insemination does not replace the surgical insemination as it does not allow for uterine evaluation, but is a significant improvement over the vaginal method of artificial insemination. The TCI is recommended for any type semen, especially frozen and fresh-cooled and can significantly increase conception when poor quality semen and lowered sperm numbers are used. The TCI technique should be used in bitches less than 5 years of age where there is not a reason to suspect uterine changes or uterine disease. The surgical method of artificial insemination is especially useful when breeding "middle age" and older bitches (5years of age and older). The drawback to a transcervical insemination is you don't get a chance to evaluate the uterus – maybe more necessary in older than in but not younger bitches. In a surgical insemination, the uterus is handled and felt for cysts and a determination can made of where to put the semen.

According to Hutchinson Surgical conception rates using frozen semen closely match those of natural mating. So it could be argued that the as close as ovulation and breeding can be predicted with LH / progesterone testing - surgical AI, Transervical Insemination using the Norwegian Catheter method, and natural breeding result in about the same success rate. I would argue that natural cover is preferred (provided breeding pairs are healthy and tested to be disease free), followed by Transervical Insemination using the Norwegian Catheter method in a younger bitch and surgical AI in an older bitch.

I don’t want to burst any bubbles, but typically the older the bitch gets the less eggs she ovulates often resulting in reduced litter size regardless of the method used or sperm quality. Of course there are exceptions to this rule and we always hope for lots of puppies!

I do have a question to ask a reproductive specialist. My understanding is that the sperm is collected, evaluated then frozen and unthawed at the collection point and evaluated again before shipping to the receiving clinic where it is unthawed before depositing into the bitch. Why is it not reevaluated again at that time? Maybe Clone does, I don’t know yet. With every freezing and unthawing sperm degrades and not necessarily by the same percentage each time. So in fact you are inseminating with less motility than projected according the initial collection / freezing report?
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Cora's Shadow » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:32 pm

My understanding is that the sperm is collected, evaluated then frozen and unthawed at the collection point and evaluated again before shipping to the receiving clinic where it is unthawed before depositing into the bitch. Why is it not reevaluated again at that time? Maybe Clone does, I don’t know yet. With every freezing and unthawing sperm degrades and not necessarily by the same percentage each time. So in fact you are inseminating with less motility than projected according the initial collection / freezing report?


Not all of the collected semen is thawed for the viability test...just a sample. So the collecting vet collects from a dog, freezes all of it, and then thaws a small representative sample. He/she writes a report that summarizes the stud dog's viability prior to freezing and after thawing. The semen is then shipping to the vet doing the AI. That vet will look at the report to determine how many straws of semen will need to be thawed and used for each breeding. So the actual viability of the semen does not change between veterinarian A and veterinarian B because the semen will only be thawed when it is used.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Jägerherzen » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:03 pm

Duh a sample. I am such a dork. I miss the most obvious things sometimes. :D
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby doco » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:16 pm

This is all new to me so I'll try to give my minimalized experience with what was done at the Clone Center with Dr. Govette whom I believe formed the corporation. Once the semen was thawed and put into the solution, he did do a microscopic exam of the sperm and allowed me to look at it as well. At one point he said "good, it looks like we have about 50% right now". Back to a prior post about volume, it only takes one sperm to fertilize, so 1 billion or 1 million, the best man wins and they can only fertilize the maximum amount of eggs that are available. After he did the Transcervical and again looked at the slide, he felt it was up to 60%. Me, not being a Vet, figures that if the % is increasing then who knows how much more viable it will be once in the uterus, but it probably ain't gonna be lower.

As I said in my 1st post, the semen was collected by Dr. Hutchinson and I'm not sure how long it has been stored by Clone. I don't necessarily agree that surgical has the benefit of evaluating the uterus prior to insemination unless we're talking about a uterus which is not healthy and therefore the sticks will not be thawed, therefore preventing wasting the sticks as well as saving $$$$ for not using the sticks. If the sticks are thawed then evaluation of the uterus did not accomplish anything other than doing an exploratory surgery to evaluate the dog.

I just recently spoke with a breeder that has only done SI with Dr. Hutchinson and this is "by no means" saying anything bad, but his last two litters were 2 & 3 pups respectively. I don't know how old the bitches were or any of the other particulars. If the semen is viable for 3 days, then testing 3x/day is overkill IMO. Again I am no Vet, but location of where to implant the sperm does'nt make sense to me either. The sperm, much like a bird dog, seeks out and finds the eggs and that is where they stay until fertilization occurs.

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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby blathens » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:32 pm

I have done several surgical AI's with Dr. Hutchison. I have had 100% success and all the litters were normal sized from 6 to 9 pups each. If I do an AI it will always be surgical. It doesn't make any sense to take a chance on using vaginal or transcervical when the success rate is not nearly as high. Animal Clinic Northview is expensive but they do know what they are doing.

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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Jägerherzen » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:50 pm

blathens wrote:I have done several surgical AI's with Dr. Hutchison. I have had 100% success and all the litters were normal sized from 6 to 9 pups each. If I do an AI it will always be surgical. It doesn't make any sense to take a chance on using vaginal or transcervical when the success rate is not nearly as high. Bill


I can understand using a method you are both comfortable with and have had success with. It is also highly probable that you would have had equal success (100%) with live cover/natural breeding. Also your litters were probably normal sized in part because of the number of eggs the bitch ovulated. Surgical AI does not guarantee higher puppy numbers if the eggs aren't there to begin with. You also miss a key point. There IS A DIFFERENCE between "normal" transcervical AI done at many facilities nationwide and transcervical insemination using the Norwegian Catheter technique only performed at a CLONE facility. Not only is the patented extender solution different, the technique is itself must be trained and administered by those certified. An analogy can be made with getting an OFA type x-ray at virtually any vet and getting a PennHip X-ray at a facility where there is a certified technition.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Calvinator » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:06 pm

There are vets in the area learning repro techniques in hopes of stealing clients from Dr. Hutchinson by beating his soaring prices. One I know of is perfecting her skills on the Borzoi that she breeds.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby doco » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:42 pm

Hey Calvin,

Please don't get me wrong about Clone or Dr. H. I came into this as a newby and Thank God that Dr. H. took great collections and had great storage. I was informed by Clone that the collection was in 96' and here we are in 11" and the sticks are still viable and capable of producing a litter. I am sure if I were in Cleveland and he was still storing the sticks, that is where I would have went.

Surgical AI just seems a little too invasive, now that I know the difference. Had I started with a SI, I probably would have prefered that, due to the success rate. After all, $$$ only has a little to do with what hopefully we are all after....great breedings and furthering the genetics within our own breed to continue to improve. Dr. H wasn't even an option for me since the sticks were stored at Clone.

I very well could be way off base by assuming that the eggs were fertilized quicker and therefore more males, but it is an educated guess. I don't have any idea how to do a poll because I am almost computer illiterate but if someone did post one, it would be interesting to see the avg's between Nat, Trans, and Surg., and the divisions of M or F.

Bill

P.S.

I get the whole competition thing but that was not the road I was trying to go down. I was just giving my only experience with breeding. I am a Young Pup at this.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Jägerherzen » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:20 pm

Calvinator wrote:There are vets in the area learning repro techniques in hopes of stealing clients from Dr. Hutchinson by beating his soaring prices. One I know of is perfecting her skills on the Borzoi that she breeds.
Calvin


Just because there is more than one person showing initiative with advancing research, does not mean they are competitively "stealing". I finally learned the quote trick too so you can't delete this and replace it with blah, blah, blah...
Dr. Govette started AI research in 1965 and founded Clone in 1981.
Dr. Hutchinson opened his practice in 1984 after graduating from vet school in 1972.

One did not steal from the other. The are both experts in the field of canine reproduction. Along with other a few others. The specialty of theriogenology is not a monopoly.
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Re: Ovulation Day Consistency

Postby Calvinator » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:35 am

Jag,
I just meant that once people begin to learn of this other vet doing AI work for a lot less $$, they will head that way. I already know of local people driving to MI to a former student of Dr. Hutchinsons be cause they get great service and it is still cheaper despite the travel fees incurred.
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