How to Increase your litter size with progesterone blood testing
Progesterone testing has been a household name amongst breeders for several years now by breeders that take their craft seriously.
We all know that identifying the ovulation time in your breeding bitch will give you a better chance of a successful mating and more puppies. Which is what every breeder want at the end of the day.
The progesterone test doesn’t always follow the physical signs the breeding bitch is displaying. So even if you are a master at reading you female dog’s oestrus cycle you might still be wrong because it doesn’t always signal ovulation when you think it is happening. Many other breeders have been caught out.
If you are breeding you are always going to be looking for a large litter.
Having a singleton litter is not very cost effective and it might even cause problems since a single puppy is usually very large and very likely to cause problems at birth. The reason you ended up with a singleton litter is usually because most of the eggs had gone passed their fertilisation stage or hadn’t got there yet when you mated your bitch. You got lucky with one egg.
To maximise your chances of a larger litter it is important to know when ovulation actually occurs. This is done with progesterone testing. Taking a small bloodsample and running it in house ( Familypet Vet Coromandel Valley results in 2 hours) or sent of to the lab ( other vets, results the next day) will give you this accurate time.
On ovulation the progesterone level spikes and the eggs will take 2 more days to become fertile. This will give you the window to organise the stud dog.
When to breed depends on the sperm you are going to use
• Fresh sperm will stay fertile in the uterus for 2-5 days or more
• Chilled fresh sperm will last 2 days
• Frozen sperm only lasts 12-24h
So if the stud dog is handy mating should happen on day 2 and 4 after ovulation. With chilled sperm day 2 is your ideal day. Frozen sperm should be used on day 3 and preferably with surgical AI.
Because you are very accurate with your breeding you will catch the highest number of fertile eggs at the right time.
Progesterone will make it easier to predict due date. This will be exactly 63days after ovulation.
To make sure the pregnancy goes smoothly and reduce the risk of abortion it is prudent to check the progesterone level during pregnancy and supplement with progesterone if it drops before the due date. A low progesterone level is one of the common reasons for abortion and easily fixed.
If you live in the Adelaide Hills and would like to come and chat with one of our Team about the in house progesterone machine we have available. Please give us a ring on 08 83238522