Frozen Semen Procedure


Semen is collected by manual stimulation of the dog. We get a much better sample to freeze when a “teaser” bitch in season is present. We encourage you to talk to your friends with intact bitches and borrow one when she is “prime”, at about 7-10 days into her estrous cycle, to be used as an incentive for your male!

Semen analysis

The semen is then examined for motility as well as morphology, which is the quality of the semen as far as percentages of normal and abnormal sperm. We like to have semen that is as least 80% normal sperm to freeze as we will lose some of it during the freezing process. Good quality semen, going into the process, is a MUST if we are going to get good quality frozen semen to inseminate years later.

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Extension and chilling

The semen is then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the semen from any prostatic fluid as we want to only freeze the semen portion of the collection. The semen is then mixed with an extender, which is a solution that contains nutrients, antibiotics, buffers and protectants to help stabilize the sperm cell membranes during cryopreservation. The mixture is then refrigerated to slowly start cooling down the semen.

Straws/Pellets made and frozen in liquid nitrogen

The chilled semen is then either loaded into straws, which are thin plastic tubes, or made into pellets, which are single drop-sized “dots” made in dry ice and stored in a cryo-vial. Each straw/cryo-vail is labeled for identification with the dog’s name, AKC number, DNA number, date, owner’s name and breed. These are immersed in liquid nitrogen, which is about -320°F and stored until needed.

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Thaw evaluation test

After freezing, either 1 straw or 1 pellet is then thawed in a water bath at body temperature and the semen is then evaluated under a microscope to see what percentage of good quality semen survived the freezing process. This then allows us to calculate how many pellets or straws will be needed to give us a “breeding unit”, or calculated amount of semen needed to breed 1 bitch.

Welcome to the Animal Hospital of Woodstock

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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I cannot stress how awesome the entire staff is at Animal Hospital of Woodstock. We are new patients of this office and I’ve been going through random drama with my cat and his food allergies. Any time I call with a “crisis” the staff is warm and understanding all while being prompt with advice or instructions. If you are looking for a new vet I highly recommend this office. Thanks to Dr. Chris for taking such good care and concern with Watkins!"
    Erin M
  • "Thank you for your evening hours! We ran into a problem with our dog at 6:30 PM (he had something caught in his throat) and we were able to run over to our regular Vet clinic and get care. Dr. Chris was great and a big help! He even checked up on us the next morning. We've been clients for a long time, and really appreciate all of you!!"
    Julie F
  • "I needed to take my black lab to Animal Hospital of Woodstock for a echocardiogram and they were fabulous.. they brought me back to the room, brought a bowl of water for my dog, and just made us feel right at home. Staff and Drs were very friendly. I would highly recommend going here!"
    Shannon H