What is Progesterone Testing?
March 3, 2023
If you are a dog breeder, you know how important it is to have healthy, happy puppies. One way to ensure this is by performing progesterone testing on your female dog before breeding. In this article, we will explain what progesterone is and why it is beneficial to perform progesterone testing.
What is Progesterone?
Progesterone is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries of female dogs. This hormone plays a crucial role in the reproductive cycle of dogs, and its levels fluctuate throughout the cycle. In a non-pregnant dog, progesterone levels will increase after ovulation and peak at around day 21 of the cycle. However, if the dog becomes pregnant, progesterone levels will continue to rise and remain high throughout the pregnancy.
Why is Progesterone Testing Important for Dog Breeding?
Progesterone testing is important for dog breeding because it helps to determine the optimal time for breeding. When a female dog is in heat, there is a small window of time when she is most fertile and able to conceive. This window can vary from dog to dog and even from cycle to cycle. By performing progesterone testing, you can pinpoint the optimal time for breeding and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
In addition to determining the optimal time for breeding, progesterone testing can also help to diagnose certain reproductive disorders in female dogs. For example, if a dog is not producing enough progesterone, she may have a condition known as luteal insufficiency. This condition can make it difficult for the dog to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. By identifying this issue early on, you can work with your veterinarian to develop a treatment plan to help improve the dog’s reproductive health.
How is Progesterone Testing Done?
Progesterone testing is typically done through a blood test. Your veterinarian will take a small sample of blood from your dog and send it to a laboratory for analysis. The results will show the current level of progesterone in your dog’s bloodstream. Based on this information, your veterinarian can determine the optimal time for breeding.
It is important to note that progesterone testing should be done multiple times throughout the female dog’s heat cycle to get an accurate picture of the progesterone levels. Your veterinarian will typically start testing around day 5-7 of the cycle and continue until the progesterone levels peak.
When Should You Perform Progesterone Testing?
Progesterone testing should be done when you are planning to breed your female dog. It is important to start testing early in the heat cycle so that you have plenty of time to plan for breeding. By knowing the optimal time for breeding, you can ensure that the male dog is available and that you have all of the necessary supplies on hand.
It is also important to note that progesterone testing is not a one-time event. As mentioned earlier, progesterone levels can fluctuate throughout the heat cycle, so it is important to perform multiple tests to get an accurate picture of the dog’s progesterone levels. Your veterinarian will typically recommend testing every 2-3 days until the progesterone levels peak.
Progesterone testing is an important tool for dog breeders. By determining the optimal time for breeding, you can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy and healthy puppies. Additionally, progesterone testing can help to diagnose certain reproductive disorders in female dogs, allowing you to take steps to improve the dog’s reproductive health. If you are planning to breed your female dog, talk to your veterinarian about progesterone testing to ensure a successful breeding and healthy litter of puppies.