March 2, 2024


What Is Infertility?

Infertility in a male dog is characterized as the failure to successfully create a pregnancy in a fertile female, despite several breedings near the period of ovulation. If you want to read our article about female infertility, you may click here.

Cause Of Infertility In Male Dogs

The three main reasons why a male dog may be infertile is;

  • Failure to copulate or ejaculate
  • Poor semen quality
  • Prostatic disease
Infertility in Male Dogs
Infertility in Male Dogs

Failure To Copulate Or Ejaculate

There are various reasons why a dog can fail to copulate or ejaculate. The problem may be behavioral, physical, or medical.

One of the main behavioural reasons is the differences in the male and female temperament. If the female is rigid or too dynamic and aggressive, the male may refuse to copulate, which is normal. Anxiety is another recurrent behavioural factor in breeding; if the atmosphere does not allow them to be peaceful, or if the male is inexperienced or hasn’t attained the age of sexual maturity, they won’t be able to copulate.

Physical reasons are a pain in the rear legs or spine. It can be anything ranging from a spinal disease to trauma; it varies. On top of that, a disease of the penis may be very painful, too, thus creating unwillingness to breed.

Inability to ejaculate might be caused by a condition known as retrograde ejaculation. Instead of going to the tip of the penis as it does in dogs with normal ejaculation, sperm enters the bladder during ejaculation in dogs with retrograde ejaculation. As a result, the male is physically unable to ejaculate into the female.

Poor Semen Quality

A variety of abnormalities can result in poor sperm quality. Low sperm numbers, total sperm absence in the sperm, abnormal sperm motility (movement), and poor sperm morphology are all examples (structure). Even with proper copulation and ejaculation, sperm quantity and quality will reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Medication may cause hormonal imbalances that result in a declination of the semen quality of a dog.

Prostatic Diseases

The prostatic disease affects more than 25 % of male dogs. Prostatic illness can considerably influence fertility because it creates some of the fluids contained in semen and contributes to the forward flow of semen after ejaculation.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy is a disorder that affects the majority of elderly, healthy male canines. Over time, the actions of sex hormones lead the prostate gland to expand dramatically with age, resulting in this disorder. Infertility can result from prostatic hypertrophy.

Infertility in Male Dogs
Infertility in Male Dogs
How A Vet Will Diagnose Infertility?

The veterinarian will start with a physical check as with any other condition. A rectal exam will be conducted to evaluate your dog’s prostate gland, as well as a thorough physical examination to look for any diseases that might be causing infertility.

There will be a long list of lab tests, including; urinalysis, semen testing, ultrasound, hormone testing, and complete blood cell count and biochemistry panel.

How To Treat Infertility?

There are different treatments, and the one administered to your dog will depend on the cause of its infertility. Your vet may ask you to change your dog’s environment if he suspects behavioural factors to be the cause. There are also some other methods, such as insemination. 

Depending on the underlying reason, problems with sperm quality may or may not be curable. Because certain diseases are hereditary or inherited, there is no effective therapy. On the other hand, poor semen quality in many dogs may be handled by eliminating medicines that may harm sperm and supplementing with hormones as needed to restore proper hormone levels.

Have you ever had a dog with infertility problems? Let us know in the comments…

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