Artificial insemination (AI) of canine semen was a big step. Then came frozen semen but puppies conceived in a laboratory test-tube is more than futuristic dog breeding!
TEST-TUBE PUPPIES MAKE HISTORY
Stella Starr, Pet Perspectives
Test-tube puppies born by in-vitro fertilization is good news for dog breeders! From artificial insemination to frozen semen, canine reproduction is booming!
Back in 1779 an Italian priest successfully inseminated frogs, fish, and dogs. It wasn't until 1884 that Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia claimed the first successful human donor insemination.
It was nearly a century before the first baby conceived from in-vitro-fertilization IVF took place in 1978. There was another long "barren" period in history before dog breeders were able to cheer the first frozen semen litter registered by the American Kennel Club in 1981.
Fertilizing an egg outside the body is widely used in human reproduction but these 7 mutt puppies made history. Born July 10, 2015 at the Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, they are an assorted lot with semen from a Beagle, Labrador and Cocker Spaniel. Cornell says this new science "could also enable researchers to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and facilitate the study of genetic diseases in dogs and humans, which share many of the same or similar illnesses."
Dr. Pierre Comizzoli, a reproductive physiologist, described canine reproduction mechanics as very different from humans. Most women go into estrus monthly, releasing mature eggs which can be harvested and test-tube fertilized with sperm. Female dogs only go into heat once or twice a year and they release immature eggs instead of the fully developed eggs needed for IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
If you watch the National Geographic channel "Vet School" show you already know a lot about the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithica, NY. It has been the first and last word in veterinary medicine for over half a century so adding another "first" is nothing new.
Canine reproduction science is booming, thanks to advances in equine and bovine reproduction techniques. Of course there is much more financial incentive in large animal reproduction.
I was intrigued by how so many of the top dog breeders and veterinarians in the U.S. share information on getting your dogs bred. My cat friends say the cat associations are "light years" ahead on genetics because the size, type ranges and gene pool is smaller but it will be a long time before cat breeders get to try making test tube kittens!
Shipping a bitch for breeding is worrisome and expensive and even shipping frozen semen can be risky. We will watch this new test-tube fertilization and report back to readers as it advances the art and science of breeding fine animals!
Be sure to explore TheDogPlace.org Reproduction Section and the display links below!