Archive for January, 2007

Post Breeding

Posted in B-Litter on January 20th, 2007 by Pete

On the Friday the 19th, we completed the second breeding by surgical AI. After seeing how easy the eTCI went on Thursday, I was seriously thinking of telling Dr. Rickard to repeat the same procedure on Friday. However, she previously mentioned that one advantage of the Surgical AI was her ability to visually inspect the uterine body during the procedure. I believe we made the right decision, in this case, because Dr. Rickard found some scar tissue inside and thickening of the right uterine horn, See Image below.


The scar tissue appears to be in the area where the C-Section was performed last April, when the first litter was whelped. Dr. Rickard showed me a picture taken during the procedure with the assistant’s cell phone camera. The scar tissue is preventing normal flow between the left and right horns. It is very unlikely that any semen was able to get into the right uterine during the eTCI performed on Thursday. The overall appearance of the r. uterine is also thicker compared to the l. uterine, which appear normal and healthy. She was only able to inject a small amount of semen, ~.5 ml, into the right side because the uterine would not distend. The ovary on the right appear normal, so it is possible that ovulation has occured.

So what does this mean? Here are a few possibilities:

1) No eggs develop in the r. uterine due to the scarring or thickening, but some develop in the left horn.

2) Eggs may be fertilized, attach to the r. uterine and develop, but Tink needs a c-section to whelp.

3) Same as 2, but the r. uterine expands and whelping occurs naturally.

We really won’t know anything more until the ultrasound on Feb 15th. As Dr. Rickard said, “We have to let nature take its course”. We’ve done everything humanly possible.

One final comment, I am very happy with Dr. Rickard. She never fails to answer my questions, her technique is excellent, and her manner is very professional. The incision from the surgical AI is hardly noticeable and Tink is doing very well. I can fully recommend her to anyone else going through this same process.


Breeding Day Arrives

Posted in B-Litter on January 19th, 2007 by Pete

Its been about two weeks since we first noticed Tink had come into season. The vets and I have been tracking her progesterone levels starting on day 5, see chart below.


From the blood test results, it appears Tink ovulated on Monday evening, Jan 15th. A final test the next day confirmed elevated P-levels of ~10 ng/ml. We scheduled the breeding for Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, we went in for the first breeding. Dr. Rickard performed an Endoscopic Transcervical Insemination (eTCI) with the frozen semen from Ferro. I was present during the entire procedure and could easily see, on the TV monitor, the passage of the catheter into the cervical canal. Dr. Rickard then attached a syringe with the semen to the outside end of the catheter and slowly pressed the contents into the cervical canal. The entire procedure took less than 30 mins. Afterwards, Dr. Rickard showed me a drop of semen under the microscope. They looked very active, swimming in straight lines, like little tadpoles. The motility was good.

Tomorrow we go back for the final breeding, which will be by surgical intra-uterine insemination. Unfortunately, this requires anesthesia and an incision in the skin. The main advantage of this procedure is the ability to see and directly inject the semen into each uterine horn, right at the source of the eggs from the ovaries.

If all goes well, an ultrasound exam will be performed on February 15th to confirm the pregnancy. The expected whelping day is around March 19th.


In Heat at Last !

Posted in B-Litter on January 3rd, 2007 by Pete

I pleased to say, Tink has finally come into heat, almost a year (48 weeks) from the last cycle. I will begin progesterone testing next Monday 1/8/07. I am planning on testing every other day, including Sat the 13th and Mon the 15th, which is the day I expect her to ovulate. If everything goes as planned, Tink will be ready to breed on the 18th and 19th of January.