Breeding Services




As we all know, the past 2 years have been difficult for everyone, in so many ways. An increase in the number of pets, persistent staff shortages, and pandemic protocols have been challenging for us to manage.  To meet these ongoing challenges, we have made some adjustments to our practice.

 To ensure we can provide quality care to our current patients, we are not accepting new veterinary clients at this time.  For the foreseeable future, we will also not be providing elective veterinary reproductive services. 

Services that require a veterinarian include TCI or Surgical Implant, OFA/PennHIP breed certifications and BAER testing.

We will still be offering reverse, same day and standard progesterone blood draws, with the understanding that we cannot perform the procedures listed previously.

Our ICSB technicians are still offering semen collection, storage and shipping as well as vaginal artificial insemination.

Preplanned C-sections are subject to availability of surgery time, we only have one veterinarian available.  Emergency surgery will be accommodated if possible otherwise it will be referred.

For breeders, our team works closely with breeders of a variety of purebred dogs and offers many specialized procedures including: pre-breeding health tests, progesterone testing, artificial insemination, surgical implant, trans-cervical insemination (TCI), pregnancy testing, caesarian sections when necessary, litter checkups, first vaccinations and microchip implantation. Our ICSB-Atlantic service provides clients with the collection, shipping and storage of canine semen.

PennHIP stands for the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. PennHIP is a multifaceted radiographic technology (x-ray) for hip evaluation. The technique assesses the quality of the canine hip and quantitatively measures canine hip joint laxity. The PennHIP method of evaluation is more accurate than the current standard in its ability to predict the onset of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the hallmark of canine hip dysplasia (CHD).

PennHIP is more than just a radiographic technique. It is also a network of veterinarians trained to perform the PennHIP methodology properly and, perhaps most importantly, it is a large scientific database that houses the PennHIP data. The radiographs are made by certified PennHIP members worldwide and are sent to the PennHIP analysis center for evaluation. The resulting data is stored in the database, which is continually monitored as it expands. As more information becomes available, the PennHIP laboratory is able to obtain more precise answers to questions about the etiology (cause), prediction and genetic basis of CHD.

In addition to PennHIP, we assist breeders with OFA submissions and/or University of Guelph radiographic evaluations. As the occasion arises, we welcome inquiries from breeders who have specific diagnostic or registration needs. We have a BAER testing unit so that we can provide inhouse hearing evaluations, this is for non-certified diagnosis.


Progesterone Testing



Progesterone testing is a useful tool in pinpointing ovulation-critical to successful breeding. Due to our busy lifestyles, many people find that this simple blood test helps them “cut out the guesswork” and streamline the breeding process.

At this clinic we use the services of ABTS in Truro for progesterone testing. This process is more accurate than progesterone kits available and accuracy is very important. These tests use nanograms (ng) as a measure, and the critical number we are looking for is 5 ng.

When a bitches’ progesterone levels reach 5 ng, ovulation occurs, and the optimum time to breed can be determined, based on the chosen method (fresh, chilled or frozen). After ovulation it takes about two days for the eggs to be fertile, and they remain that way for another two days.


Fresh semen has amazing longevity, living three to five days or more in the uterus. This allows a more relaxed approach to breeding and it is recommended to breed either day one and three or day two and four after ovulation.


Fresh chilled semen does not have the life span of fresh. It has usually been shipped great distances and is somewhat compromised by the chilling and warming processes. New medias available to us have extended the life of sperm while chilled beyond previous expectations, but after being warmed and inseminated, chilled semen usually lives one to two days in the uterus. This means that breeding with chilled should occur two days after ovulation, when eggs are completely fertile.


Due to the trauma of the freeze/thaw process, frozen semen has a life of twelve to twenty-four hours in the uterus, because of this short time frame, it is very important that semen be used at the peak of egg fertility – three days (or 60-72 hours) after ovulation. It is strongly recommended that frozen semen be surgically implanted. This allows the semen to be put directly where they need to be, allowing higher numbers of sperm access to the fertile eggs.


It is recommended that breeders begin progesterone testing at day five after the start of the heat cycle. Should there be any question as to when the season has begun, testing sooner is better than later. This allows us to establish a “baseline” and successive tests will help chart the bitches’ progress. Each female is different and some can ovulate as early as day eight (making the day five progesterone test critical), and others as late as day twenty-eight.

No one can answer how many progesterone tests might be needed, but with them we can follow your females’ progress and advise you, depending on the method you have chosen, when the best time for breeding might be.

Many factors affect dog breeding-sperm quality, age, reproductive health, etc. Although not every dog gets pregnant, despite the best efforts of technology, progesterone testing is invaluable in helping increase the chances of pregnancy.