Processing Canine Semen
Straight after collection, the semen sample is analysed to see if it is worthy of preservation, or of adequate quality for insemination if immediate AI with fresh semen is required.
The sample is immediately assessed for :The sample is immediately assessed for :
- Sperm count
- Features of sperm morphology
During the normal collection process, the male will produce a volume of semen in 3 fractions. The second fraction is sperm rich, and the part needed for preservation . Part 3 consists mainly of prostatic fluid and is of quite variable amounts.
Immediately after collection, Semen is centrifuged to separate the sperm cells from the other fluids that were collected. The fluids are removed ,which may contain prostatic fluid and sometimes blood or contaminants, that may have toxic effects on the sperm.
Replacement cryoprotective buffer solutions are added back to the semen sample and it is cooled gently to slow sperm cells down within the sample and preserve their energy.
This also helps to prevent damage that freezing might do to the sperm cells.Care must be taken during this process to add appropriate volumes of buffers for the breed of dog whose sample that is being processed, and maintain factors like temperature and centrifugation speed within ranges that maintain sperm viability.
The prepared sperm sample is checked again to see how well it tolerated cooling and preservation.
Where semen is being frozen in liquid nitrogen, further protective buffers may be added, before the semen is dispensed into 1/2cc straws.
It is labeled with several means of identification to avoid any confusion with straws once frozen. This includes the Unique number for the stud dog assigned by BreedMyDog, the stud dog’s Microchip number, dog breed , date and location of freezing. Each straw contains around 50 -75 million sperm cells. Straws are frozen in Liquid Nitrogen at -196 Centrigrade and at this temperature stay preserved for decades.