Dog progesterone testing is a crucial step in ensuring the successful pregnancy and breeding of female dogs. Here is a detailed explanation of the correct methods for dog progesterone testing:

Jun 25, 2024

I. Purpose of Testing

Progesterone testing is mainly used for:

  • Evaluating the estrus cycle of dogs to determine the optimal breeding period and improve breeding success rates.
  • Predicting whether the female dog is likely to experience dystocia and preparing adequately for delivery.
  • Determining whether exogenous progesterone supplementation is needed during pregnancy, i.e., "maintaining pregnancy."
  • Assisting in the detection of reproductive system diseases, such as emotional agitation, delayed development, and decreased libido.
  • Judging the sterilization status of female dogs.

II. Testing Method

First detection time: Begin progesterone testing 3-4 days after the first discovery of bloody vaginal discharge during a female dog's estrus cycle.

Testing frequency: Test every 24-48 hours, preferably every 24 hours, to accurately track changes in progesterone levels.

Sample collection: Collect serum or plasma samples from the female dog for testing. The sample size is typically 75 μL (the sample size may vary depending on the testing instrument and kit).

Testing time: Using a rapid, quantitative, and precise progesterone testing instrument (such as the Haiweite immunofluorescence analyzer), results can usually be obtained within 15 minutes.

III. Progesterone Levels and Breeding Timing

Progesterone levels and ovulation: Ovulation typically occurs 48 hours after the LH (luteinizing hormone) peak, and the eggs require an additional 48 hours to mature. Therefore, the optimal breeding period should be between the 4th and 7th day after the LH peak. However, the LH peak is narrow, appearing quickly and dissipating rapidly, making it difficult to track. Progesterone levels begin to rise precisely after the LH peak, so tracking changes in progesterone levels can help determine the optimal breeding period.

Progesterone levels and breeding success rates: Different dog breeds have varying progesterone levels during estrus. For example, Tibetan Mastiffs have a pregnancy rate of over 80% when serum progesterone levels reach 20-30 ng/ml, while German Shepherds have the highest pregnancy rate when serum progesterone levels reach 10-20 ng/ml. Therefore, these progesterone level ranges can be considered optimal breeding times.

IV. Precautions

Progesterone testing does not require extensive experience, but ensure that the correct testing instrument and kit are used, and follow the operating instructions.

During progesterone testing, pay attention to the comfort of the female dog and avoid causing unnecessary stress.

Combine progesterone testing with other estrus identification methods (such as vaginal smear testing and vaginal endoscopy) for a more accurate determination of breeding timing.

In conclusion, dog progesterone testing is an important step in ensuring the successful pregnancy and breeding of female dogs. Through correct testing methods and accurate judgments, breeding success rates and litter sizes can be improved.

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