Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is your stud a dud?

Labrador males are very sweet. But they are also noted for being horny. Sometimes I have to laugh as one of the males will decide that it's time to grab one of the girls and begin humping their head! It's a lot of misplaced passion I guess.

Maybe it's fortunate that Labrador males are studly because that makes them easy to collect for semen. But even though you may be able to collect your male there are other things that you need to consider, such as whether the sperm is healthy.

Unfortunately, low sperm count and malformed sperm can occur in dogs. And infertility is also something that occurs. The causes of infertility in male dogs are divided into two main groups, congenital infertility and acquired infertility. Congenital infertility is present at birth and is caused by abnormalities in chromosomes. Those dogs that are affected cannot produce sperm.

Acquired infertility develops during the dog's lifetime. There are several causes, some of which can be rectified. For example,incomplete ejaculation, usually occurs because the male dog is uncomfortable in the breeding situation. Males often won't "perform" if there are unfamiliar surroundings or if the female is aggressive. There can also be obstruction of the reproductive tract that can result from an infection or inflammation. Prostatitis can often cause a dog to not produce sperm. And then there are hormonal abnormalities such as hypothyroidism that can affect fertility in the male. Another culprit is heat. Male dogs that are kept in kennels and sleep on warm surfaces can become infertile because heat damages sperm.

If infertility is suspected, have your dog evaluated by a vet who will examine a sample of semen for sperm count and morphology. Treatment may be necessary, either in the form of antibiotics or heat reduction and perhaps changes to the diet. If the problem isn't congenital, then there is hope that with proper treatment, the testicles will return to normal functioning within about 60 days. So it is possible to turn your dud into a stud with proper care and patience.

Examination of semen should always be done before shipping semen or doing a breeding.

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