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Theriogenology. 2009 Jan 1;71(1):190-9. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.09.007. Epub 2008 Oct 22.

Artificial insemination in canids: a useful tool in breeding and conservation.

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  • 1Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, N-0033 Oslo, Norway.


Artificial insemination (AI) and semen freezing have become services available to dog owners worldwide, and the demand for services to freeze semen is increasing. In other canids such as the fox, the fur industry utilizes fresh or frozen semen to artificially inseminate vixens to produce pelts. Clearly, AI facilitates the use of a male to sire several females by diluting the ejaculate, increases breeding hygiene, and allows crossing between species with slightly different breeding seasons. The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is currently considered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as one of most endangered canids. In captive populations of African wild dogs, semen has been frozen with encouraging results, using a standard cryopreservation protocol for domestic dogs, but successful AI has not been reported. In wolves, there is one report regarding the live birth of an offspring after intravaginal AI of a deslorelin-induced estrous female. In 2005, three Mexican gray wolf females were artificially bred by intrauterine insemination with freshly collected semen from unrelated males, and all females whelped. Artificial insemination may be vaginal, intrauterine or intratubal, and the semen may be fresh, fresh and chilled (diluted), or frozen-thawed, and the source of semen may be epididymal or ejaculated. In the domestic dog, the results are good to excellent for AI with all three types of processed semen when the source is ejaculated semen, whereas epididymal sperm still yields poorer results. Species differences in female physiology, as well as differences in the cryotolerance of the sperm from various canid species, warrant further research and development.

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