Female breeding soundness examination (Proceedings)


A technician's guide to examining female breeding soundness.


The time spent on history taking is the most important time devoted to a case.

Clinical examination of the bitch

  • Complete physical should be performed to identify disorders of non-reproductive systems.

  • Palpation of uterus - ultrasonographic examination or radiographs

  • Inspect vulvar conformation.

  • Vaginal

     o Digital

     o Speculum

  • Examination of the mammary chain by palpation

  • Brucella canis serology test

     o Screening test

     o Titer

  • Thyroid testing should be performed in all dogs presented for infertility.

Vaginal cytology

  • Clinical Uses

     o To estimate progression toward first day of estrus in bitch that is being shipped for breeding

     o To correlate endocrinological and behavioral states in the bitch that has been subfertile

     o To determine infectious or inflammatory conditions of the reproductive tract

Bacterial culture

  • Vagina

     o Bacteria normally present

     o Guarded swab

     o Obtain when cervix is open (?)

     o Obtain before cytology (take sample)

     o Interpretation

     o Other signs of disease important

  • Uterus

     o No bacteria present

     o Exploratory


  • Examine reproductive tract

     o Digitally and visually

  • Culture uterus

  • Full thickness biopsy

  • Swab both horns

Endocrine assays

  • Progesterone

     o Starts to rise before ovulation

     o Peaks at 4 weeks after onset of estrus

  • Estradiol 17-Beta

     o Not useful

  • Thyroxine (TT4)

     o Range 15 to 50 nmol/L

     o Depends on laboratory

  • Triiodothyronine (TT3)

     o 1.0 to 2.5 nmol/L

  • Free T4 by dialysis

     o 9.0 to 40 pmol/L

  • T4 autoantibody

     o < 20

  • T3 autoantibody

     o 10

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

     o < 30 mU/L

  • Thyroglobulin autoantibody

     o < 200 %

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