GENETIC TESTING & REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES
One of Dr Hans' special interests is reproduction, partly due to his active involvement in breeding nationally recognized standard poodles. He is an affiliate veterinarian with International Canine Genetics and the Canine Reproduction Network of Synbiotics. We are able to provide you with various reproductive techniques varying from vaginal cytology and progesterone timing to semen evaluation and artificial insemination. The latter includes both fresh collections and inseminations as well as collection and preservation for fresh chilled semen shipments and insemination. Insemination can be done vaginally or surgically. We do not, however, do frozen semen preservation. When special workups are needed, we can do that as well, including detailed hormonal assays. Ultrasound services are available to evaluate the genital tract and other areas, including for pregnancy diagnosis, although other techniques include abdominal palpation and fibrinogen assay. Most of these are done between days 21-35 after breeding.
However, before you even consider breeding you must make sure that both the sire and dam are genetically healthy, are of sound temperament, and are structured properly for their breed. Being free of genetic diseases means that not only is the animal outwardly healthy, but that you have also tested him or her thoroughly for hidden diseases that might have genetic origins. For most breeds, this means doing a blood profile, thyroid testing, brucellosis testing, hip x-rays for hip dysplasia with the x-rays being sent to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for certification, and eye examination (commonly referred to as CERF'ing). Various other tests are recommended for specific breeds (check out the AKC national breed parent club website for more information for your specific breed). In almost all cases except the CERF exam (because this has to be done by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist), we can perform these tests for you so that you can be assured that you are producing a healthy animal. Also be sure that the mother is current on vaccines, is free of internal and external parasites, and is being fed a premium diet to maximize her nutritional status. Whelping/queening assistance and Caesarian sections are done when needed.
Please remember that AKC or other registration is NOT a certification of quality nor does it mean that those animals should reproduce. Breeding should never be done to recoup your purchase expenses or to experience the birthing process; rather it should only be done to improve the breed. You need to be able to stand behind the offspring you produce for the rest of their lives; in other words, you should provide a contract guaranteeing health, require altering of the offspring, sell on limited registration, and be willing to take back the offspring if the purchaser is no longer able to keep them. If you are not willing to meet these obligations, you should have your pet spayed and neutered. Remember, there are many health benefits and lower disease risks in altered animals so this should be the norm and only the finest animals be allowed to reproduce. All you have to do is visit one of the many rescue organizations in the area to realize that way too many people allow their pets to reproduce irresponsibly, contributing to the pet over-population problem that exists in this country. Ask for our handout "To Breed or not to Breed" to be emailed to you for more information.