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Canine Reproduction

Services for novice and professional breeders.

Dr. Estle and her team are here to ensure your valuable breeding program is set up for success!

We are proud to offer one of the few Veterinary Canine Reproduction programs in New England. Dr. Estle has extensive experience and training in many reproduction techniques and she works closely with breeders to decide what is best for their breeding program.

  • Breeding Soundness Evaluation
  • Infertility Diagnostics
  • Pre-Breeding Screening and Testing
  • Reproduction Clinics
  • Semen Services
  • Artificial Insemination (AI)
  • Pregnancy Evaluation
  • C-Sections

Breeding Soundness Evaluation

  • Done every 12 months for all dogs actively being used for breeding.
  • Comprehensive evaluation of health that ensures there are no health concerns prior to breeding.


Infertility Diagnostics

  • Infertility has many causes and is more common as dogs get older and have been used more for breeding.
  • Fertility problems don’t exclude a dog for breeding but they do make it more difficult.
  • Having a breeding plan is very important.

Fertility Issues

  • Failure to conceive
  • Frequent cycling
  • Sperm or testicular abnormalities

Infertility Services

  • Evaluation of overall health and organ function
  • Semen evaluation
  • Vaginal exams
  • Timing of breedings to maximize the likelihood of conception
  • Use of frozen semen collected when the stud dog is young

Pre-Breeding Screening & Testing

Brucellosis Test

  • We are proud to be a Brucellosis-free hospital
  • We require a Brucellosis negative certificate within the last 6 months for all breeding dogs
  • Same day results along with a certificate of the negative test status

Breeding Timing with Progesterone Levels

  • Timing is critical in breeding to maximize the chances of a successful pregnancy
  • We use progesterone testing for ovulation timing to determine the optimal time for insemination
  • We have in house progesterone testing and the results will be given same day

Baseline Blood Work

  • We recommend baseline chemistry/ blood counts +/- thyroid levels prior to breeding
  • If there is underlying disease, pregnancy may make these conditions worse
  • Ensuring you are breeding a healthy dog is critical to the well being of parents and pups
  • Additional services and tests are available – please ask if there is a service you would like

PennHIP® Radiographs

  • Dr. Estle is one of a few vets in our area certified to perform this evaluation
  • An effective hip screening tool and is accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks of age
  • Gives an evaluation of hip laxity (looseness) which estimates the risk for developing osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia
  • While under a reversible, light sedation, three different radiograph views are taken

OFA studies are available for hips, elbows, shoulders, stifles, and thyroid

What’s Included:

  • OFA Hips: One radiograph of the pelvis and stifles. We recommend sedation but it is not required
  • OFA Elbows and/or Shoulders: One radiograph of each elbow or shoulder and is usually combined with an OFA hip or PennHIP® procedure
  • OFA Thyroid: Blood is drawn at our hospital and submitted for testing
  • OFA Patella: Manual palpation and manipulation of the stifles is done by our reproductive veterinarian
  • Non-specialist OFA Style Cardiac Exam: Cardiac auscultation done by our reproductive veterinarian

Reproduction Clinics

  • CERF eye clearances and pre-breeding Echocardiograms are performed at our hospital
  • Done by board certified specialists
  • Offered bi-annually at our Reproduction Clinics

Semen Services

Semen services are performed in-house and most male dogs are easily collected at our hospital.

We also have a teaser bitch available to assist in collections.

Comprehensive Semen Evaluation

  • Semen quality – motility and speed
  • Sperm morphology (what they look like)
  • Sperm count
  • A semen evaluation certificate is provided
  • Samples can be sent to a specialist for further evaluation when needed
  • Any concerns with the semen are discussed at the time of the evaluation and recommendations for further work-up or therapy will be made

On-Site Semen Freezing

  • We store all semen on site in secure liquid nitrogen tanks
  • Allows for the indefinite preservation of semen, even beyond the lifetime of the stud
  • Allows for shared ownership of semen and breeding rights
  • Semen can be sent to multiple locations to serve multiple bitches
  • Can be shipped internationally where natural breeding is not practical
  • Discounts for additional freezing of samples from the same stud already frozen at our practice

Shipping Frozen Semen

  • Frozen semen is shipped in dry shippers cooled by liquid nitrogen
  • This is a safe and effective means of transport
  • Shipping is overnight via FedEx or similar service domestically
  • International shipment times vary

Chilled Semen

  • Samples are collected, evaluated, chilled and packaged with MOFA media and shipping container
  • Semen is shipped overnight and will arrive by 10:30am the next day when shipped priority overnight (shipping fees will vary depending on destination)

Testicle Harvesting

  • Can be done at the time of neuter or shortly after death
  • Sperm is collected directly from the testicles and frozen on site
  • This is a valuable opportunity to preserve a dog’s genetics after his ability to breed

Artificial Insemination (AI)

Dr. Estle has expertise in several AI techniques and will help determine which is best for your dog.
Vaginal via Mavic catheter

  • Fresh semen or chilled semen
  • Specially designed catheter that mimics the natural mating tie
  • This stimulates uterine contractions which facilitates sperm transfer to the oviducts

Transcervical insemination with a uteroscope

  • Semen is deposited into the uterus through the cervix
  • Uteroscopic – We use this technique as it is done in a standing position with no sedation. Less invasive, less stress and minimal discomfort
  • Norwegian pipette – requires sedation (not used here)

Surgical insemination

  • Fresh, chilled or frozen semen
  • The only technique that allows direct examination of the uterus and ovaries
  • Bypasses any problems related to the vagina and cervix
  • Requires general anesthesia and abdominal surgery
  • Used for bitches that have prior issues and need further evaluation

Pregnancy Evaluation

Abdominal Ultrasound

  • Evaluates the presence of pregnancy
  • Estimate due date +/- 3 days based on measurements
    • For the most accurate calculation, schedule between days 25 and 40 post-breeding
  • Not accurate for counting puppies – a radiograph later in the pregnancy is needed for this
  • Ultrasound measurements are especially important for planned c-sections, as the timing of delivery is critical for puppy survival

Abdominal X-ray for Puppy Count

  • Information regarding the number of puppies
  • See signs of potential complications (large singletons, dead pups, etc.)
  • Scheduled during the last week of pregnancy to ensure puppies are visible


  • Planned or emergency
  • Our team is highly skilled in this procedure as well as post-whelping care of puppies
  • Available during our office hours Monday – Saturday
  • We work closely with several local emergency hospitals for patients with after-hours complications

If you’d like to learn more about the canine reproductive services we offer, call us at (603) 673-5300 or email

Canine Reproduction Veterinarian