Semen evaluation

Assessment of semen quality in male dogs for breeding

Veterinary group Dania recommends that all male dogs that are to be included in breeding should have their semen quality and general health assessed regularly, but there can be many reasons for semen assessment. Perhaps you are dealing with a young male dog that is to be used for breeding for the first time, or with an older male dog whose breeding material is still in demand. It may also be that you are considering freezing your male dog’s semen, and that requires sperm of a certain quality.

Whatever the reason, at Dyrlægegruppen Dania we are ready to advise you on your male dog’s physical and mental health and suitability for breeding. We are one of Denmark’s leading experts in the field, which is why you are guaranteed advice based on great professionalism and many years of experience.

Three factors determine sperm quality.

During a semen assessment, the male dog is manipulated to ejaculate. This is done without the use of sedatives and without discomfort for the dog. It is important to us that it is a good experience for both dog and owner. The sperm fractions are then split in two, from which the sperm’s mobility, concentration and morphology are examined under a microscope.

1.Sperm mobility

A drop of sperm is placed on a microscope slide, and the motility of the sperm cells is assessed under the microscope. The sperm must appear clearly alive, and the individual sperm must show good forward movements. For a good sperm quality, more than 70 percent mobile sperm cells with forward movement are desired.

2.Sperm concentration

The concentration shows the number of sperm cells per millimetres of sperm and is determined using a counting chamber. When inseminating with fresh semen, a minimum of 150 million sperm cells per litter are required from a small dog. millimetre of sperm and from a large dog a minimum of 200 million sperm cells per millimetre of sperm.

3.Sperm morphology

A sperm fraction is placed on a microscope slide and the appearance of the sperm is assessed under the microscope and the number of malformed sperm is counted. The number of deformed sperm in one sperm fraction should not exceed 25 percent.