Post Castration Semen Collection and Freezing

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Epididymal Semen Harvesting

The latest pioneering method of semen recovery

Post castration epididymal semen harvesting is a pioneering method of semen collection that permits semen extraction where other options don’t allow. Referring to the removal of semen from the epididymis of the testes, the procedure can be used following routine castration or upon sudden, unplanned death of the dog.  It is an invaluable service should the latter, unplanned scenario arise and may be used a last resort to preserve valuable genetic lines.

When should it be used?

In ordinary circumstances, valuable breeding stud dogs have semen collected and frozen routinely.  However, if this is not possible, and when a dogs death is sudden and unanticipated, semen can now be salvaged and frozen retrospectively via epididymal semen extraction.

The Epididymis - a valuable hub of semen 

The epididymis is a long, highly convoluted tubular duct that lies alongside the testes (figure 1). Consisting of a head, body and tail, the epididymis acts as a storage area and site of final maturation of sperm cells prior to ejaculation. 



At any point, up to 62% of sperm cells in the epididymal duct can be found in the tail of the epididymis, providing a significant reservoir of potentially fertile semen that can be harvested post castration of the dog.

What happens during epididymal semen extraction?

For the procedure, the dog has one or both testes removed using standard castration techniques. The testicles are then shipped on a same day to the semen collection centre. A complex 4-hour extraction procedure follows, to harvest and preserve the valuable semen within the epididymis.  

Is semen always recovered from the testes?

Post castration epididymal semen extraction is not a guaranteed method of semen recovery. Unfortunately, there will be a proportion of dogs for which the procedure will be unsuccessful due to dog related issues, circumstances at point of death or issues during testicle removal and transit.

How Many doses are recovered?

The amount of semen recovered from the testes is highly variable between dogs and dependent upon numerous factors related to the dog, the conditions around the castration and testicle handling post removal. 

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