Emergency clinic open 24 hours a day


In-House Progesterone Testing

Progesterone hormone testing is used to determine ovulation timing for breeding, pregnancy monitoring and C-section timing. Predicting ovulation timing with progesterone will greatly help increase your success with breeding.

Intact female dogs commonly referred to as “bitches” in the breeding world, normally cycle every 6-12 months. Their cycles consist of Proestrus, Estrus, Diestrus and Anestrus. First day of Proestrus starts with the first sign of vaginal bleeding which usually lasts for 10 days. After the end of the Proestrus the bitch enters Estrus known as “standing heat” which usually lasts for 7 days. Progesterone begins to rise near the end of Proestrus and plateaus near the end of Estrus. At SAVE we use our very reliable Mini Vidas progesterone machine to test for progesterone levels.

Our machine is calibrated to indicate that ovulation has occurred between 8-10 nanograms. It is very difficult to determine exactly when the bitch has started her heat cycle. We recommend the first progesterone test to be done on day 7 from the first sign of vaginal bleeding. It usually takes 2-3 tests to pinpoint the exact time of ovulation.

Once ovulation has occurred, we recommend breeding naturally in 1-2 days and continuing over the next 3 days, 2-3 days with chilled semen, and 3-4 with frozen semen.

The timing is based on the fact that it takes 2 days for the eggs to mature after they have ovulated, eggs remain viable for 3 days after maturing. Due to the fact that frozen semen only lives for approximately 12 hours in the Uterus, it is important to inseminate at the time the eggs have matured. Chilled semen can live for up to 3 days, and fresh semen for up to 5-7 days.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call our reproduction team at 403.995.3270 or email them at repro@saveveterinary.com.