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Artificial insemination can be achieved by several techniques. A common technique is instillation of semen into the vaginal vault using a pipette (vaginal insemination). The pipette is advanced to the level of the cervix and the semen is deposited there. The bitch’s hindquarters are elevated for 10-15 minutes after the insemination. This technique can be performed with fresh semen as its longevity gives the semen time to cross the cervix and enter the uterus. While it can also be performed with chilled semen, conception rates and litter size is improved with deposite of chilled semen directly into the uterus. This technique is not recommended for frozen semen.
For chilled or frozen semen transcervical or surgical insemination is recommended because these techniques deposit the semen directly into the uterus. Chilled and frozen semen do not live as long, so intrauterine deposition maximizes conception rates as well as litter sizes.
Studies have demonstrate that in the dog, intra-uterine AI for fresh, chilled, and frozen semen significantly improves the whelping rate and litter size. The vagina appears to offer an unfavorable environment for canine spermatozoa, since a large proportion loose their tails within minutes after deposition in the cranial vagina. It has also been shown that around 10 times as many spermatozoa are required to obtain similar results by vaginal AI as by intra-uterine AI. There are, thus, many factors which contribute to the poorer results obtained by intravaginal semen deposition compared to intra-uterine deposition
Intrauterine deposition of semen is performed surgically or via transcervical insemination. Surgical insemination is often recommended for bitches with previous infertility problems, because the uterus can also be examined directly during surgery. Surgical insemination is done under general anesthesia and requires an abdominal incision with sutures. Surgical insemination is only done once during the estrous cycle. Transcervical insemination (TCI) can be done without sedation in most bitches. The procedure is generally short, often taking less than 10-15 minutes. In addition, inseminations can be performed multiple times within an estrous cycle. The technique involves the use of a rigid viewing scope to visualize and then catheterize the cervix.