Artificial Insemination: pups for Teazel

Congratulations to a local Fairlie family on their litter of adorable Jack Russell Terrier puppies born from a successful artificial insemination performed by Dr. Hillary Nicolson of Vetlife Fairlie.

Teazel’s humans sought help from Vetlife after it became clear that Teazel was not having a bar of ‘standing’ for the baby daddy ‘Ace’, even although her blood progesterone levels and vaginal cytology showed that she was in the right phase of her oestrus cycle for mating.

So, after both Teazel and Ace had a veterinary health checkup and given the all clear for breeding, it was decided to proceed with Artificial Insemination.

Ace politely provided a semen sample, which was checked under the microscope to confirm good sperm numbers and motility and that no abnormal spermatozoa were present. This fresh sample was then quickly administered intravaginally using a soft, flexible catheter with zero discomfort to Teazel.

Teazel was a little confused however, as she had to ‘do a handstand’ afterwards, being held and cuddled in a near vertical position for 10 minutes in order to obtain the best results of the insemination by using gravity to help get the valuable spermatozoa to head in the right direction towards the cervix.

This procedure was repeated once more 3 days later, in order to ensure the presence of plenty of viable sperm in the reproductive tract around the time of ovulation, so that fertilization can occur as the egg travels towards the uterus where implantation of the fertilized egg will occur.

Teazel coped very well through these two procedures and went home to rest and wait to see if the AI was a success.

A month later, Teazel popped into the clinic for a nail clip and she had put on 600g bodyweight and her mammary glands were enlarged, getting ready to produce milk for the pups. Another 3 weeks on, Teazel was struggling to fit through the catdoor due to her enlarged abdomen, so even though we had not carried out an ultrasound or X-ray to confirm pregnancy, we were very certain she had a belly full of pups. At this stage, an ultrasound could tell us the viability of the pups as a heartbeat can be seen and an X-ray can give us an idea of the number of pups expected, as their little curved spines can easily be seen and counted.

Exactly 2 months after the first round of AI, Teazel went into labour after a few days of restlessness and nesting behavior. As this was Teazel’s first whelping, the time between start of labour and the arrival of the first pup was a little prolonged, so unfortunately the first pup was not born alive. This is quite common in first whelpings, but disappointing, nonetheless. After a few hours of hard work, straining, huffing and puffing, Teazel gave birth naturally to 3 beautiful pups, 2 boys and a girl. Congratulations Teazel and family!

The pups recently received their first vaccination and vet check prior to heading off to their new forever homes.