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How to Manage Infertility in a Stud Dog

In general, reproductive failure and infertility are complex and multi-factorial. Infertility is defined as a reduced ability to produce young, while sterility is defined as a permanent inability to reproduce. Fertility is never guaranteed but the good news is infertility in male dogs is manageable. Your veterinarian can perform testing to assure you have the best possible opportunity to produce a litter.

Determine Dog Semen Quality

How can you tell if a dog’s sperm is good? We start with a semen collection and analysis at a laboratory. A semen analysis should be completed prior to using the semen. There are four important and measurable aspects to dog semen quality:

  1. Dog Sperm Count: A sperm count should be 10 million times the dog’s weight in pounds. If no sperm are seen, send prostatic fluid to a reference lab for an alkaline phosphatase level.

  2. Sperm Morphology: Morphology assesses the shape and appearance of each sperm cell. To do this, the semen should be stained.

  3. Sperm Motility: The semen needs to be progressively motile, meaning it swims forward with vigor.

  4. Sperm Longevity: Hold a small sample of semen in the refrigerator and reassess it 24 and 48 hours later. After being warmed up again, normal semen should still be swimming, progressively motile, for up to three days.

To perform a semen analysis on a dog, the following supplies are used:

  • Collection sleeve

  • Parafilm

  • Pipette

  • Tube

  • Centrifuge

  • Semen safe syringe

  • Microscope

  • Sperm counter

  • Warmer/heating pad

  • Slides

  • Stain

  • Gloves

  • OB Lubricant

How Can I Improve My Stud Dog Sperm Quality?

To support improved sperm production and motility, consider supplements specifically formulated for the unique needs of a breeding dog. These can enhance male reproductive performance and overall health.

Perform a Male Diagnostic Workup

After assessing the semen quality, a male diagnostic workup should be done. A proper diagnostic workup for a male dog consists of:

  • A complete medical and reproductive history evaluation.

  • Vaccination history.

  • Prior and current testing for infectious diseases.

  • The health and reproductive history of other dogs in the kennel.

  • Diet and supplements used.

  • Kennel management such as ventilation, chemicals, and cleaning methods. Also, note the surfaces the dogs are housed on; mesh, concrete, asphalt, pea gravel, dirt.

  • Medications, including any parasite control products.

  • A comprehensive physical examination that includes checking the testes and prostate. An ultrasound can also be helpful.

  • Laboratory testing of the semen to analyze the morphology, motility, count, and longevity of the semen.

  • A blood test to evaluate the complete blood count and blood chemistry.

  • Testing for tick-borne diseases and canine brucellosis.

  • The diagnostics should also include taking a sample of the dog’s urine immediately after ejaculation to see if sperm is present, indicating retrograde ejaculation.

Managing infertility in a stud dog involves a detailed assessment and appropriate interventions. With the right approach, you can enhance the reproductive success of your stud dog and improve the chances of producing healthy litters. For more information and resources, visit

How to Manage Infertility in a Stud Dog
How to Manage Infertility in a Stud Dog


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