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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My three year old Golden Retriever came into season a

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My three year old Golden Retriever bitch came into season a month ago, but only bled for four days. Nevertheless I had pre-mate tests done and day 11 showed her ovulating. I took her to the chosen stud dog, but she was not interested and seemed scared. The owner of the stud dog, an experienced breeder, said that the entrance to her vagina seemed very tight and not sufficiently swollen for a bitch that was ready to mate. The dog did eventually penetrate her, but she yelped and I stopped the proceedings. She is now bleeding again, so it looks like a split season. Can she still conceive and if so how do I time her readiness or might there be a physical problem. I really do want puppies (I have bred before) but would not do anything that might harm her.

Hello Elizabeth, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm sorry for these worries about Megan.

If she's having a split heat (which is definitely possible), then yes, she could become pregnant during this cycle.

Whether or not she has a vaginal stricture which made penetration difficult or whether she wasn't ready yet is difficult to know at this point. A vaginal exam with a speculum may be very helpful in determining if a physical problem exists. In many cases, these strictures can be surgically removed.

Even if she is structurally unable to conceive and thus whelp, you could consider surgical artificial insemination. She would, of course, require a c-section to deliver the puppies. I'm not sure if this is something that you want to consider but I offer it a consideration.

Of course, things get a little more complicated in terms of timing depending on whether you're using fresh or chilled or frozen semen.

The best way to maximize timing would be with vaginal cytology and progesterone testing.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Dr Deb. Should I start the timing from the first day of her second bleed?

You're welcome
I'd start evaluating vaginal smears now and every other day. I generally recommend that progesterone levels start being checked when the cytology shows 50% superficial cells. I understand that this can be pricey but you want to maximize the timing.
When the progesterone rises above 2 ng/ml, I generally confirm with another test a day or two later to ensure a continued rise. Some bitches will plateau for a few days before starting to rise again.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. I forgot to ask: could the fact that she was having a split season have accounted for her not seeming ready, either emotionally or physically

Glad to help:)

If she were having a split heat, then she basically didn't ovulate. Bitches who experience this phenomenon may or may not stand for a male but they can't become pregnant since they didn't ovulate and are thus not fertile.

I'm not sure how to address the emotional issue. Some females will simply not stand and allow themselves to be bred for any number of reasons even though hormonally they are in a heat cycle. But that's one value of progresterone testing; it takes the guess work out of the process.
If a bitch won't stand but has ovulated, then artificial insemination can be done if your breeder is experienced in doing so. Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So could the pre-mate test that showed that she was ovulating have been wrong. It was not sent off to a lab, but as done by a local large and small animal practice which gives same day results.

The short answer is yes. I prefer that progesterone testing to be done at a lab.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much Dr Deb That would account for her reluctance. You have been a great help.

You're more than welcome.

And, best of luck to you and Megan as you try to get her pregnant:)
I hope you'll keep me posted about her; I'd love to know how things go. Even after you've rated (if you do, of course), we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. Regards, Deb
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Thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated. Regards, Deb

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