How to ship & inseminate chilled dog sperm for breeding

Success in shipping chilled semen

We have been shipping chilled semen to our clients all around Australia and have found the process to be highly successful and very convenient particularly during covid lockdown when travelling to a stud is often not possible. Vets are considered an essential service during lockdown and so we are able to have our studs collected, semen chilled and packed in an esky to transport anywhere in Australia. Likewise most of our clients are able to visit their repro vet and have the semen inseminated the same or next day (chilled semen lasts 3-5 days).

Frozen semen vs chilled semen

Whilst we have frozen semen stored at Colyton vet in NSW, we can also arrange chilled semen which lasts up to 3-5 days refrigerated and has a few benefits over frozen –
  • Same day flight or courier – We can generally put it on a same day flight or have it shipped by courier to your reproduction specialist vet (for those local to us in Sydney or country NSW), so it gets to you that day or at latest the next morning.
  • Affordability – It’s much easier and cheaper (our chilled processing vet fee is $300) than frozen (processing frozen costs $500). Chilled is also basically fresh semen, so it’s much more lively than frozen and therefore doesn’t need to be surgically implanted (surgical implantation costs around $500). Frozen semen also needs to be stored at a vet that specialises in reproduction, which costs around $100 per year.
  • Cheaper & quicker to ship – You would then have the shipping cost, which would also be cheaper with chilled as frozen needs to be sent in a special shipper, chilled is shipped in an esky and can therefore be moved around quickly.

Frozen semen as a back up

The benefit of frozen semen is that you can have it stored at your local repro vet and ready to go for when you need it. Chilled semen requires monitoring your bitch’s progesterone levels and once she hits the LH surge, we ship it to you for TCI (trans-cervical insemination – our repro vet charges $300 for this procedure). I recently shipped chilled semen to a client, collected Friday afternoon, inseminated in their female Saturday afternoon, 85% live sperm!
Our client let us know that their female’s progesterone level was 24nmol/L, on the Friday and their repro vet advised to send chilled semen for likely insemination the next day, pending result of another progesterone test that morning. The bitch had risen to 45nmol/L and chilled semen was inseminated by TCI Saturday afternoon.

Transcervical insemination

TCI or transcervical insemination is a minimally invasive, pain free and quick way to deposit semen directly into the uterus. A camera is used to navigate through the female’s reproductive tract and a catheter is inserted into the uterus, through which the semen is transferred. The benefit of using a reproduction specialist vet is firstly that they offer TCI and they will also carry out a sperm motility check before depositing the semen.

In the video below our preferred reproduction specialist vet Dr Chris Papantonio from Colyton Vet in Sydney, discusses TCI and demonstrates the simplicity and accuracy of the process.

Surgical implant for chilled and frozen semen

Most of our clients using chilled semen have it inseminated using TCI. Some clients prefer surgical implantation, this procedure is more invasive and costly but the process is still quite simple and takes around 10 minutes to complete as demonstrated in the video below.

Sperm counts & post thaw motility

Saffron our cavoodle stud has a great sperm count last checked in May 21 – over 500 million sperm in a collection. Piccolo our toy poodle stud has 300 million per collection (less as he’s a smaller dog). You want a minimum of about 200 million for a pregnancy, so both boys have plenty there. With frozen semen it’s important to check the semen quality report before purchasing any breeding units; take note of the post thaw motility which indicates the overall number of sperm that will be available to fertilise the eggs once the frozen semen is thawed.

How to order chilled sperm from our stud dogs

If you have time please contact us in advance of your girl going on heat so we can plan our stud’s availability for the coming months. If you have booked another stud and it falls through or doesn’t work out, we can sometimes assist (providing our boys aren’t already booked).

How to purchase frozen sperm from our stud dogs

For clients finding themselves stuck without a stud at the very last minute, we have frozen semen units stored and this can be purchased from us and inseminated at Colyton Vet.

We’re always happy to help and share our dog breeding experience, if we can’t help you sometimes we can point you in the direction of someone who can. Not sure if your female is old enough to breed? Check out our article on breeding age limits and laws in Australia.

Contact us to book one of our studs today!

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