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Okanagan Veterinary Hospital

Reproductive Services

Artificial insemination is an alternative way to breed animals. Our veterinarian practice can help you determine if artificial insemination is the best method of reproduction for your pet.

Litter of puppies


When natural mating is not possible or preferred, some pet owners turn to artificial insemination to breed animals. We offer various artificial insemination techniques such as side-by-side, trans-cervical insemination (TCI), and surgical insemination.

Reproductive Exam

A reproductive exam is required before any breeding procedures can be initiated. This includes both female and male pets (For males we do semen evaluation and freezing). A Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship is integral for this process because your veterinarian will be familiar with your pet and can proceed in the safest and healthiest manner.

Why would my pet need artificial insemination?

Artificial insemination has become a popular method of mating for animals who are unable to naturally reproduce. Some breeders actually prefer artificial insemination to successfully reproduce their animals. Artificial insemination benefits include increased conception rates and increased safety of the animals involved.

When can my pet be artificially inseminated?

The perfect time to inseminate your pet will depend on the breed and age of the animal. Other factors your veterinarian will take into consideration are the female animal’s fertile cycle, and the quality/count of the male animal’s sperm. The option of freezing or chilling semen allows flexibility in the artificial insemination practice. Since each pet is different, we will determine the optimal time to breed using our in-house progesterone values.

How will my pet be artificially inseminated?

Artificial insemination can be completed with fresh, chilled, or frozen semen. Techniques include vaginal insemination, trans-cervical insemination, and surgical implant.

Your veterinarian will recommend the best method of artificial insemination after examining your pet.

What We Offer

Reproductive Exams

We require all of our breeding patients to have an annual exam done to ensure they are of sound health to be bred. We want to be sure we have a strong communication and breeding plan established with the breeders to ensure all parties' expectations are met.

Pre-Breeding Screening 

Brucellosis: We recommend all breeding animals be tested 6 months prior to breeding.


  • OFA studies are available for hips and elbows. A radiograph of each site is taken and sent to OFA for interpretation. We recommend sedation as per the guidance of OFA radiologists.

  • OFA Thyroid: Blood is pulled in the hospital and sent out to Idexx laboratories for testing. Results are relayed back by your veterinarian.

  • OFA Patella: Manual palpation and manipulation of the stifles are done by one of our veterinarians.

Genetic Inherited Diseases:

We strongly recommend not breeding dogs that have genetically inheritable disease processes:

  • Allergies

  • Hernia

  • Heart murmurs

  • Bite Malocclusions

Progesterone: In-house service which can give results within 1 hour, sometimes earlier. This allows breeders to have the most accurate time to conceive. We often recommend breeders to plan for 3-4 tests to ensure the most precise timing.

Breeding: AI, TCI and Surgical

Artificial Insemination (AI): 

Vaginal via Mavic catheter

  • Fresh semen or chilled semen

  • A specially designed catheter that mimics the natural mating tie

  • This stimulates uterine contractions which facilitates sperm transfer to the oviducts

Transcervical insemination with a uteroscope:

  • Semen is deposited into the uterus through the cervix

  • Uteroscopic – We use this technique as it is done in a standing position with no sedation. Less invasive, less stress and minimal discomfort

Surgical insemination

  • Fresh, chilled or frozen semen

  • The only technique that allows direct examination of the uterus and ovaries

  • Bypasses any problems related to the vagina and cervix

  • Requires general anesthesia and abdominal surgery

  • Used for bitches that have prior issues and need further evaluation

Semen Services

Semen Evaluation: This is recommended on all studs being used for breeding. It is not mandatory; however, it is ideal to know if your stud is still producing strong volume and count to promote breeding. If you have a stud and are feeling there are infertility concerns, a good start is to ensure he is producing high-quality sperm. Any concerns with the semen are discussed at the time of the evaluation and recommendations for further work-up or therapy will be made. 

Semen Shipping

  • We ship and receive domestic and international canine semen. Shipping semen to another facility does require the stud to be examined previously, so appropriate planning is ideal for successful shipping.

  • Frozen semen is shipped in dry shippers cooled by liquid nitrogen

  • Domestic: Fresh Chilled Semen Overnight FedEx domestic services are available

  • International: Fresh Chilled Semen Travel time can vary-again, good planning can support a successful shipping as we do our best to assist in overnight delivery

Semen Cryopreservation

  • We offer canine semen freezing. Timing and planning are required for this procedure. After a full exam and semen evaluation, your reproductive veterinarian can advise and assist in planning the freezing process.

Pregnancy Confirmation and Evaluations

Pregnancy Ultrasounds

In-house imaging is used to provide a confirmation of pregnancy. An accurate fetal count cannot be truly appreciated from an ultrasound. An ultrasound can also be utilized to assist with a C-section. If ovulation dates are unknown, an ultrasound can be utilized to assess the heartbeat, kidney development, and gastrointestinal tract of the puppies. These assist in confirming if the puppies are safe to be extracted when or if a C-section is being considered.

Pregnancy Radiographs

Generally, only a single lateral view is needed to get the best accurate imaging for fetal counts. At times, it may be necessary to take a secondary image to truly appreciate the fetal count. This is done under the advice of our veterinarians. We do not wish to expose mothers and puppies to any additional radiation if at all possible.

Cesarean Section

  • Planned or emergency

  • Our team is highly skilled in this procedure as well as post-whelping care of puppies

  • Currently only available during our office hours Monday – Friday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

  • We work closely with two local emergency hospitals for patients with after-hours needs.