Infertility in Female Dogs
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.
The causes of infertility in female dogs are highly varied. Fertility requires a normal heat cycle and ovulation of normal eggs (ova) into a healthy reproductive tract, followed by fertilization of those eggs by normal sperm that are successfully introduced into the female. There also must be successful implantation of the embryos in the uterine lining, normal development of the fetuses, successful maintenance of the pregnancy and a successful delivery of live puppies.By far the
Most bitches have their first heat cycle around one year of age, give or take a few months. Thereafter, they typically have about 2 heat cycles per year. After a successful breeding, pregnancy can be detected by a skilled veterinarian or breeder at about 4 weeks into the pregnancy by physical palpation (feeling) of the abdomen and pelvic area. This should not be done by an inexperienced person, as it could be quite dangerous to
Whenever a breeding does not result in a successful pregnancy, the fertility of both the male and the female should be assessed. In females, that assessment should include whether the problem was failure to ovulate, failure to conceive, failure of implantation, early embryonic death, fetal resorption, fetal mummification, abortion or something else. It can be challenging, at best, to identify the precise reason why a particular bitch did not conceive or carry a litter to
The primary goals of treating infertility in female dogs are to identify and rectify the underlying cause of the condition. In the majority of cases – but not all of them – the cause is ineffective breeding management practices. In other cases, the treatment must be tailored to a specific underlying medical problem. How to effectively manage a canine breeding program is a topic beyond the scope of this article.Bitches with vaginal or uterine infections