1887

Clinical approach to the infertile bitch

image of Clinical approach to the infertile bitch
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Abstract

Infertility is a term used to reflect a reduced ability to produce young and it is not uncommon for breeders of dogs to consult veterinary surgeons requesting investigation of both infertility and sterility. It is important to have an understanding of the normal expectation of fertility, which can vary according to breed, to ensure an appropriate investigation. This chapter looks at case investigation; misunderstanding of the normal biology; failure to exhibit oestrus; abnormal oestrous cycle length; abnormal mating; apparently normal mating but infertility; pregnancy failure.

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Figures

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6.1 Changes in hormone concentration associated with normal and pathological conditions of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis. Normal ovarian function (i.e. sequential hormone production; first oestrogen during oestrus and then progesterone after ovulation). Ovarian agenesis. Absence of the ovaries due to previous neutering. FSH = follicle-stimulating hormone; GnRH = gonadotrophin-releasing hormone; LH = luteinizing hormone.
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6.2 Tests to confirm the function of the pituitary gland and ovary. Basal hormone secretion. Changes in hormone concentration following administration of exogenous gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to a normal anoestrous bitch. Changes in hormone concentration following administration of exogenous human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to a normal anoestrous bitch. FSH = follicle-stimulating hormone; LH = luteinizing hormone.
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6.3 Tests to confirm the function of the ovary. Basal hormone secretion. Changes in hormone concentration following exogenous gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) administration to a previously neutered bitch. Changes in hormone concentration following exogenous human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) administration to a previously neutered bitch. FSH = follicle-stimulating hormone; LH = luteinizing hormone.
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6.4 Follicular (follic) and non-pregnant luteal phases of the oestrous cycle and the duration of anoestrus in relation to plasma oestrogen and progesterone concentrations and the time of ovulation in normal bitches.
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6.5 Luteal phase and oestrous cycle length. Normal pregnant bitch. Bitch with a short luteal phase, resulting in pregnancy failure followed by a normal ovulation and normal pregnant luteal phase. Bitch with ovulation failure with a very short rise in progesterone (presumably as a result of follicle luteinization) followed by a normal ovulation and normal pregnant luteal phase. Note: it is not uncommon for bitches with this condition to have repeated cycles with an abnormal luteal phase rather than for it to be followed by a normal cycle as shown here.
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6.6 Day on which ovulation occurred in relation to the first signs of vulval swelling and serosangineous discharge in 220 normal bitches, which became pregnant when mated.
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6.7 Anatomy of the vagina and vestibule. Normal bitch. Bitch with mild vaginal hyperplasia (arrowed) protruding into the vaginal lumen. Bitch with extensive vaginal hyperplasia (arrowed) protruding from the vulval lips. Drawn by S.J. Elmhurst BA Hons (www.livingart.org.uk) and reproduced with her permission.

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