Glory’s First Breeding Via TCI

This breeding with Glory has been over a year in the making. Last summer I did my research on available stud dogs, picked one and was waiting for Glory to come into heat (which was suppose to be after she had her OFA test’s done). The best laid plans didn’t work last year, she came into heat before she was two which meant we couldn’t do her OFA test’s in essence we had to wait on breeding her the following year. We could of bred her in the spring after we did the testing but we train and run hunt tests all summer long a litter wouldn’t let us be able to do that so we do our limited breeding’s in the fall/winter.

So I get to meet my boyfriend today?

Where’s my boyfriend?

Are you bringing in my boyfriend?

So you know that we chose “Silas” to be the stud dog. Silas lives in Oklahoma. Normally the bitch would go to the stud dogs house and they would breed naturally any where’s from one to three times during the bitches standing heat period (a bitches heat cycle can range from 2-3 weeks in length with average time of standing heat being at 10-13 days). Since Silas lives 13 hours from us and we had too many things going on in November I planned on doing a artificial insemination for this breeding. There are a couple of methods that can be done for a AI. If the stud dog is alive (which Silas is) and his semen quality is good (he has produced several litters in the past) you would use a fresh chilled sample and have it implanted one of three ways.

Three types of Artificial Insemination

1. Vaginally – semen deposited into the vaginal tract

2. Transcervical – semen deposited into the cervix using a endoscope via the vagina

3. Surgical  – surgical procedure where semen is deposited into the uterus, used most often with frozen semen and in older bitches that the doctor would like to visualize the uterus

I have done a vaginal and surgical AI with Nellie in the past which both produced a litter of puppy’s. I debated and debated which way to go with Glory. This is Glory’s first litter, she is young and healthy so there should be no reason on her end not to become pregnant doing a AI. But which AI will it be?

We’re in the conception room.

Hello lovely technician Brenda.

After some long deliberation I decided the best route for Glory would be the transcervical route. I figured we would only get one chance at a insemination and wanted the best percentage of her taking which is over 80% so we went for it. When doing AI breeding’s you need to run progesterone tests on the bitch so you can pin point when they are going to ovulate so you can do the breeding on the correct day for the best chance of conception. Glory had four progesterone tests run. Once I noticed she started her heat cycle I had one run which the results were low <.02 the reproduction doctor told me I could wait 4 days and run another one so the next one was done 7 days into her heat cycle, the results were .6, still low so the next one three days later. The next test was done 10 days into her heat and the results were 2.6 which happened to be on a Monday. Dogs ovulate when the progesterone reaches 5, the eggs need 48-72 hrs to mature before they can be impregnated with the semen. Dr said next test Wednesday. I knew we would be getting close by watching Glory and watching the discharge coming out her vagina (the color was changing from dark red to pink). I told the stud dog owner we were getting close and to be on standby. The results on Wednesday were 8.6, she ovulated so 911 the stud dog owner and have him collected and the semen overnight-ed for the AI on Thursday.

I use Veterinary Village for all my reproduction work. Dr. Greer has done my repro work on Nellie and gave me two nice litters so she will be the one doing the insemination on Glory.

Dr. Greer holding Glory as the table is being elevated to the correct height.

Dog daddy John holding her front, Brenda the tech holding the rear.

What is TCI?

TCI is Transcervical Insemination. How this is done is explained by the American Kennel Club website:

The transcervical insemination (TCI) is performed with the bitch in a standing position. No sedation nor anesthesia is required. A fiber optic cystourethoscope is used vaginally to visualize the opening to the cervix. A flexible catheter is maneuvered through the cervix into the uterus. It is important that the breeder realize that the veterinarian is not visualizing the inside of the uterus and this technique does not allow for evaluation of the uterus.

The TCI procedure is visualized on a television monitor and does allow for examination of the vaginal tract, however. The semen is gently pushed through the catheter from a syringe. The veterinarian can visualize that the semen flows easily into the uterus and does not flow back into the vaginal tract.

The transcervical 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.

Getting everything prepared.

Let’s get this show on the road.

We were in and out in 30 minutes. Glory was a little uncomfortable when the first catheter was placed and kept in there while getting ready for the endoscope to be inserted. Once the endoscope was inserted then she calmed down and stood there for the procedure. Here are two video’s of the procedure. The first one is over a minute long and the second one is over 5 minutes long.

December 18 will be Glory’s ultrasound to see if she is pregnant. I could hardly wait for her to come into heat now I can hardly wait to find out the results. Thanks to Dr. Greer and her two technicians Brenda and Marissa who helped out with this breeding. Paws crossed!