Definition of Infertility in Female Dogs
Infertility in female dogs is the inability to produce live offspring. This can be caused by failure to ovulate, cycle normally, accept a male, conceive, maintain the pregnancy or deliver live puppies at full term. Fertility requires a normal heat cycle and ovulation of healthy eggs into a healthy reproductive tract, followed by fertilization of those eggs by healthy sperm. The embryos must successful implant in the uterine lining, develop into normal fetuses and be delivered alive after the pregnancy is successfully maintained. The most common cause of infertility in female dogs is bad timing. Silent heats, split heats, abnormally long heats, missed heats and irregular heats all can contribute to breeding management nightmares and errors. Other causes of infertility are vaginal and uterine infections, hormonal irregularities, stress, poor nutrition, anatomical abnormalities and genetics. A female dog should only be labeled “infertile” after she has had a thorough reproductive evaluation by an experienced veterinarian.