Both the examination of canine semen and further processing starts with a good collection. This is done manually with the dog in a standing position in a quiet area and preferably with a female dog in heat. In this way the libido of the dog is optimal and the quality of the sperm will be optimal too. Experienced male dogs can generally also give good sperm without a female dog in heat.
First of all, the penis and the testicles are being examined for any abnormalities and then foreskin of the penis from the male dog will be cleaned. After that the semen will be collected. The male dog ejaculates into three fractions. For processing we only use the second fraction, the sperm-rich fraction. The volume of the second fraction is dependent on the size of the dog and ranges between 0.1 ml and 3 ml.
The first fraction is intended for internal cleaning, and the third fraction is the prostate fraction, which is intended for flushing the sperm-rich part into the uterus after the tie during the natural breeding. A whole ejaculation can take up to 10 minutes, but the ejaculation of the sperm-rich fraction usually takes only one-half to one minute.
This second fraction is further analysed in the laboratory by looking into a number of characteristics. The quality of the sperm can be determined (see research) and then further processed. In case of suspicion of infection or abnormalities of the prostate we also collect and store a part of the prostate fraction separately for further research.
In incidental cases, you can collect semen in the laboratory from the epididymis after castration, possible after death. By doing this it can then be frozen for storage. Especially when it is very important that the genetic material of the male dog doesn’t get lost for the future this method is a possibility for preservation.