Dog Progesterone Testing

First-time breeders often experience challenges in getting a bitch pregnant, and even experienced breeders! That’s why fertility and veterinary clinics offer progesterone testing, an accurate method to determine when ovulation occurs in female dogs.

Dog breeding is a confusing process. Progesterone results can be interpreted by an expert who has knowledge and experience in the hormone secretion pattern of female dogs. It involves understanding eggs, hormones, the heat cycle of bitches, and the patterns when ovulation occurs.

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Understanding the Estrus Cycle During Ovulation

If you are planning to breed your dog, you must understand the information you will be reading below before proceeding with progesterone testing. During the oestrous cycle, progesterone slowly rises. This stage is called the proestrus.

When does the estrus season, or the mating period, start? The answer is that it depends on the size of your dog.

Once your bitch reaches puberty, the estrus begins. It usually lasts for an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Early signs include:

  • Swollen and red vulva
  • Bleeding or blood-like discharge
  • Behaviour change (can be overly friendly, look for male dogs, fidgety)
  • Frequent urination

Ovulation occurs when the discharge from the vagina becomes clear or watery. It is where the fertile period starts, not the estrus period’s entire time. This stage is also when bitches are most receptive to breeding.

Hormones called estrogen help the ovaries to produce an egg. When estrogen levels are high, it simply means that the ovary is ready to release an egg. The eggs from the ovary are released as a reaction to the luteinizing hormone (LH). Although eggs only live for 2-3 days during the heat cycle, sperm in the reproductive tract can survive for 7 days. During those 7 days, sperm can still fertilize the egg once released. This cycle can be understood through progesterone testing.

Are bitches possible to conceive during this stage? Yes. But if you will be using chilled semen, then no. Natural breeding only works with fresh semen since they can survive for a week while waiting for the egg to mature. If you use fresh, chilled semen, always wait for the eggs to mature because fresh chilled semen’s shelf life is 2 to 3 days only, 1 during transport and 2 in the reproductive tract.

Using frozen semen requires an artificial insemination process. Appropriate timing in ovulation is essential, especially if you get your bitch to conceive through frozen semen.


Facts You Should Know About Progesterone Levels

When the progesterone level rises above 2 ng ml, the bitch enters the canine oestrous period. Progesterone rises continuously until 57 days of ovulation, regardless of the pregnancy, unless uterus or ovarian diseases occur. Progesterone levels only decrease when the current heat period is about to end.

Here are some facts you need to know about progesterone levels:

  • a. LH peak happens when the progesterone levels are about 2 -3 ng ml.
  • b. LH surge occurs from 12 – 24 hours.
  • c. Progesterone blood level at 5-6 ng ml indicates that ovulation starts to occur.
  • d. Progesterone levels are also indicators of how ready your pet is for breeding


Dog Progesterone Testing:

How is it done?

Progesterone is a hormone produced by a female dog breed only. When a bitch starts to be in heat, progesterone testing should be conducted starting from 3 to 5 days to determine the ovulation cycle and the optimum time of getting a bitch pregnant. This test is proven to improve breeding and pregnancy rates in bitches.

When the bitch enters the canine estrus stage, this is where constant monitoring is required because it is an indication that the bitch will soon start ovulation. Ovulation timing is essential to improve reproduction in dogs.

A progesterone blood test is a procedure where a blood sample is taken for analysis. This process often has a result in the next 24 hours.

Difference between Progesterone Testing from Vaginal Cytology

Vaginal cytology is a procedure where an exfoliated cell is extracted from the lining of the dog’s vagina and is taken for analysis under a microscope. It often requires a 2 to 3 process for an accurate test result. While this method uses cells, the other test requires a blood sample for analysis.

Do I need this fertility test for my bitch?

If you are a breeder and natural breeding is not an option, then you need this fertility method for your bitch. This procedure is often done by dog owners aiming for a guaranteed pregnancy of their bitch by identifying the correct progesterone levels of their dog. It is also recommended for breeders who want frozen semen for reproduction.

Benefits of Progesterone Testing

With this procedure, the ovulation timing is accurate. However, in cases where progesterone testing is done and has accurate results in progesterone level but still does not have a guaranteed pregnancy, the problem goes down to the sperm of the stud dog.

When this test is given to pets, breeders will be able to know the best timing for breeding. It is also a procedure highly recommended for reproduction that uses chilled semen through artificial insemination.

Knowing the progesterone level of your dog lowers the chances of your pet becoming infertile. You can also save more time with guaranteed breed pregnancy in this test.

Have trouble finding a progesterone test expert?

At the K9 fertility clinic, we provide top-of-the-line equipment for fertility tests. We also offer in-house tests such as ultrasound scanningsemen analysisartificial insemination, and other fertility tests with accurate results to ensure our customers will achieve their breeding requirements. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at +447928412354 and book a fertility service with us.


Related Services

As a dog fertility service provider, we offer various services to dog breeds, from natural mating, pregnancy, artificial insemination, and puppy care.


Ultrasound Scanning

A pregnancy scan for dogs, and even cats, is a painless procedure that allows us to monitor pregnancy.

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Dog Artificial Insemination

Dogs’ artificial insemination is a reliable method to impregnate bithces without mating.

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Semen Analysis

Our semen analysis service includes testing the capability of the semen to move towards the bitch’s egg.

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