Canine Breeding Problems

Posted on April 21st, 2014

Does your female dog go out of heat before she ovulates and appears to you to be sterile?

Often a female dog will go into heat or estrous, and be naturally or artificially inseminated, and not conceive. There are many reasons why this may happen but one main reason that does cause this comes from the fact that a simple endocrine immune imbalance is present which may cause this sterility to happen. Many times, the signs of external estrous do not correlate with the internal signs of estrous and the time of actual ovulation will not be predictable.

If you are experiencing this difficulty, you may want your veterinarian to do a special endocrine immune blood panel before the actual breeding is to occur, in order to correct any hormone antibody imbalances that might be present that would not allow your female dog to conceive. This test measures:

  • Cortisol
  • Total Estrogen
  • T3 and T4
  • IgA, IgG and IgM

This blood test sample needs to be handled in a special manner and sent to the qualified laboratory listed on this site. This is one of only four laboratories over the past 40 years that had the ability to run these blood tests that are referred to as an Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome or the common name the general public created, Plechner’s Syndrome. I have had no affiliation with this laboratory or any of the past laboratories, but these laboratories are the only laboratories that seem to have the necessary equipment to do this type of testing. Fortunately these laboratories all believed in my studies and did my syndrome test while many of the other laboratories could see no value in even doing this test.

I will be more than happy to make suggestions to both you and your veterinarian if you are interested in doing this test. Further information is available on my website under Get Help. The endocrine immune imbalance needs to be identified and controlled before you attempt another breeding. Please let me share with you an interesting example of when the internal signs of estrous did not correlate with the external signs of estrous in a Doberman female.

One day, I was presented with an opportunity to examine an eight year old beautiful Doberman pincher female, that when bred, would never conceive. Many years ago, when I was given this opportunity to examine this Doberman female, it was before I had developed my special blood tests in order to determine why this was happening.

A normal estrous cycle in a female dog usually begins with the swelling of the vagina including a blood tinged, vaginal discharge. When the vaginal discharge becomes clear on the 8th to 12th day of the estrous cycle, ovulation usually occurs.

The eggs are thought to remain viable for seven days post ovulation as they make their way down the oviducts. Once the eggs have left the surface of the ovaries, a temporary gland forms at the empty ovarian (egg site) called the corpus luteum. This gland remains for only 3 to 5 days and then scars over, ending the estrous cycle.

The corpus luteum produces the pregnancy hormone called progesterone and if the gland remains as an ovarian cyst and continues to produce progesterone, the female may develop all the external signs of pregnancy but will have an empty uterus. This is referred to as a false pregnancy and caused by ACEIS known as Plechner’s Syndrome and can happen two to three weeks after the estrous cycle has been completed.

Unfortunately, if this corpus luteum persists and the female dog comes back into heat at a later date, the combination of estrogen from her estrous cycle, in combination with the progesterone from the corpus luteum, usually will cause a hormonal, bacterial infection called a pyometra which can be life threatening! Of interest, it has been proven that if you inject a combination of estrogen and progesterone into to a healthy female dog, she will develop a pyometra.

This particular Doberman female developed signs of estrous and accepted the male but upon performing a simple vaginal smear, it indicated that her vaginal cells did not reflect any signs of ovulation.

NOTE: Before the estrous cycle begins, the vaginal cells will contain large, round nuclei. As the estrous cycle continues, these nuclei will become smaller and smaller and at the time of ovulation, most of the vaginal cells will be devoid of nuclei.

I continued to do vaginal smears on this female Doberman and to my surprise, I found that the vaginal cells indicated that she was producing ovum even though her external signs did not indicate this on the 21st day of her estrus cycle.

Realizing this, I decided for her next estrus cycle, to put her on a form of estrogen on the 17th day of her cycle daily and continue the estrogen supplement until the 21st day of her cycle. This prepared her externally for her estrous cycle when internally, she was producing ovum, and she accepted the male and had eight normal puppies sixty-three days later. This is just one example of how a hormonal manipulation can help create a normal pregnancy.

Presently, I would have you perform the endocrine immune blood test ACEIS (Plechner’s Syndrome) and with proper hormone replacement, have the internal signs of estrous correlate with the external signs of estrous.

It has been known for a long time that a form of estrogen can be used to cause a female to show all the signs of estrous but unfortunately no ovulation will occur. This is why a vaginal smear can be so important to do. This case was totally different and the outcome was very successful.

These are just some of my thoughts, which hopefully will help give you a better understanding, if you are going to breed your dog.