Faten M. Labib, Hassan H. Mansour, Atef B. Mahdy, Asmaa A. Abdallah


Infertility problem is a common syndrome among bitches and its causes are numerous, but the apparent most frequent cause is the mating at incorrect time. The aim of this study was to avoid the possible causes of infertility in bitches by predicting the optimal time of breeding and try to treat disorders in estrus cycles. A total number of 18 bitches of German shepherd breed were used in this study for monitoring phases of estrus cycle and predicting the optimal time of breeding. Those bitches examined by vaginal cytology, progesterone assay, measurement of vaginal PH, vaginal endoscopy and ultrasonographic examination of ovaries from proestrus to diestrus. By vaginal cytology, cornified cells first appeared on Day 4 from the beginning of proestrus, then increased till reached to 85% on Day 12 which is considered as the ovulation day.  Measuring of progesterone concentration at the beginning of proestrus was very low (less than 1 ng/ml) then increased in 13 bitches only out of 18 bitches which used in this study till reach to 6.5 ± 1.37 ng/ml within ranges (4.8 to 8.3 ng/ml) on Day 12 from the beginning of proestrus. The other five bitches showed disorders in normal sequence of estrus cycle which was discovered by progesterone assay, vaginoscopy and ultrasonography of ovaries. Abnormalities in estrus cycle were recorded; two cases of anovulation and three bitches of persistent proestrus. As a trial for correcting the deviated estrus cycle, we injected hCG hormone in two anovulatory bitches for occurrence of ovulation, and also used methergine drug in cases of persistent proestrus as a trial for stoppage of continuous bloody discharge.  The optimal time of breeding in 13 ovulatory bitches was within 2 to 3 days after ovulation day. Pregnancy rate after breeding by 20 days was recorded by ultrasonographic examination was 92.3 % (12/13 bitches). When applying these applications, we concluded that progesterone hormone assay was the accurate method for predicting the ovulation time and achieving higher pregnancy rate , and also can judge on estrus cycle if normal or abnormal.

Key words: bitch; bvulation; brogesterone assay; bersistent proestrus; hCG administration

Full Text:



(1) England G, Concannon PW. Determination of the optimal breeding time in the bitch: basic considerations. In: Recent Advances in Small Animal Reproduction, Concannon PW, England G, Verstegen J, Linde-Forsberg C (Eds.) , International Veterinary Information Service ( , 2002.

(2) Moxon R, Batty H, Irons G, England GC. Periovulatory changes in the endoscopic appearance of the reproductive tract and teasing behaviour in the bitch. Theriogenology 2012; 78: 1907–16.

(3) Goodman M. Ovulation timing: concepts and controversies. Vet Clin Small Anim Pract 2001; 31 (2): 219–35.

(4) Tsutsui T. Studies on the physiology of reproduction in the dog Ш, observations of vaginal smear in estrus cycle. Japanese Journal of Animal Reproduction 1975; 21: 37–42.

(5) Johnston SD, Olson PN, Root MV. Clinical approach to infertility in the bitch.In Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) (USA) 1994.

(6) Hahn SE, Jo YK, Jin YK, Jang G. Timing of fertile period for successful pregnancy in American Bully dogs. Theriogenology 2017; 104: 49–54.

(7) Renton JP, Boyd JS, Harvey MJ, Ferguson JM, Nickson DA, Eckersall PD. Comparison of endocrine changes and ultrasound as means of identifying ovulation in the bitch. Res Vet Sci 1992; 53 (1): 74–9.

(8) Concannon PW, Hansel W, Visek WJ. The ovarian cycle of the bitch: plasma estrogen LH and progesterone. Biol Reprod 1975; 13 (1): 112–21.

(9) Lindsay FE. The normal endoscopic appearance of the caudal reproductive tract of the cyclic and non-cyclic bitch: post uterine endoscopy. J Small Anim Pract 1983; 24 (1): 1–5.

(10) De Oliveira C, Da Costa E, Da Silva J. The vaginal pH of healthy bitches during the oestrus cycle. Revista Brasileira Med Vet 1998; 20, 32–34.

(11) Antonov A, Dineva J, Georgiev P. Dynamics of Vaginal pH in the Bitch during Proestrus and Estrus. Anim Vet Sci 2014; 2: 101–4.

(12) Bouchard GF, Solorzan N, Concannon PW, Youngquist RS, and Bierschwal CJ. determination of ovulation time in bitches based on teasing, vaginal cytology, and ELIZA for progesterone. Theriogenology 1991; 35 (3): 603–11.

(13) Meyers-Wallen VN. Unusual and abnormal canine estrous cycles. Theriogenology 2007; 68: 1205–10.

(14) Kronfeld D, Donoghue S, Glickman L. Body condition and energy intakes of dogs in feral teaching hospital. Journal of Nutrition 1991; 121: 157–8.

(15) Bancroft J, Gamble M. Theory and Practice of histological techniques 6th ed., Churchil, Livingstone, New York, 2008; Ch. 6, PP: 83–92.

(16) Schutte AP. Canine vaginal cytology. II. cyclic changes. J Small Anim Pract 1967; 8 (6): 307–11. DSAY, F LINDSAY, F. E. F. (1983)

(17) Post K. Canine vaginal cytology during the Estrous Cycle. Can Vet J 1985; 26 (3): 101–4.

(18) Fontbonne A. Infertility in bitches and queens: recent advances. Rev Bras Reprod Anim 2010; 35: 202–9.

(19) Johnston SD, Root MV. Serum progesterone timing of ovulation in the bitch. In: Proceedings of Society for Theriogenology. San Antonio. Montgomery (AL): Society for Theriogenology; 1995. P: 195–3.

(20) Concannon PW . Reproductive cycles of the domestic bitch. Anim Repro Sci. 2011; 124 (3-4): 200–10.

(21) Seki M, Watanabe N, Ishii K, Kinoshita YI, Aihara T, Takeiri S, Otoi T. Plasma progesterone profiles in beagle bitches with and without the whelping experience. Acta Vet Hung 2010; 58 (1): 117–24.

(22) Schulz A. Evaluation of minimally-invasive methods to observe the cycle of the bitch in heat Ph.D. dissertation, Berlin: Freie Universität, 2002: 35–48.

(23) Ross A. Investigations in the female dog’s vaginal aerobic flora and pH, Master thesis, Dissertation, Berlin University, Germany, 2005.

(24) Lulich J P. Endoscopic vaginoscopy in the dog. Theriogenology 2006; 66 (3): 588–91.

(25) Xavier L. Video vaginoscopy of the canine vagina. Reprod Dom Anim 2016; 51 (1): 31-6.

(26) Yeager AE, Concannon PW. Canine and feline reproduction. Small Animal Ultrasound (Ovaries). Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1996; 293-303.

(27) Arbeiter K. Anovulatory ovarian cycles in do-gs. J Reprod Fertil. Supplement. 1993; 47: 453–6.



  • There are currently no refbacks.