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“All about the boy” – Semen Collection and Analysis – presentation by Dr. Fiona Hollinshead

This session will focus on the canine stud including areas such as:
● Getting a male comfortable for mating and collections
● Assessing fertility in new potential stud- should we keep him?
● Determination of common problems (palpation of the testes, difficulty getting a “tie”, environmental influences)

There is value in using shared semen but how do you get started and how do you use it efficiently and effectively? This session will teach participants how to collect and analyse canine semen and how to problem solve when things do not go right 

  • What is ‘normal’ 
  • Steps to assessing semen: Basic and more advanced 
  • Types of  abnormalities and what do they mean? Should we use him for the mating? Do we need to retire him? 
  • Flowchart- what went wrong- we thought the semen looked ok. 

Semen Collection and Handling

This session will focus on the collection and handling issues that can alter semen quality including:

  • Methods surrounding semen collection 
  • The impact of environmental temperature 
  • Media and materials for semen storage 
  • How to store and prep the semen for shipping. 

Chilled and Frozen Semen

What is the difference between chilled and frozen semen and how do you select the best method for your colony? 

How to freeze and thaw semen correctly 

How do you set-up for introducing semen freezing in your colony? What are the common problems that you encounter? Is it feasible for a small organization or should you rely on external companies?

Dr Fiona Hollinshead graduated from The University of Sydney, Australia in 1996 with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honors) and in 2004 with a PhD in sperm sexing and assisted reproductive technologies. Fiona completed a clinical residency in Theriogenology at Cornell University in 2006 and in the same year became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists and a Registered Specialist in Small Animal Veterinary Reproduction with the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council. Fiona has a strong interest in canine semen biology and reproductive technologies as well as clinical research, teaching and clinical service. Prior to moving to CSU last year to take up a faculty position as Associate Professor in Small Animal Reproduction, Fiona managed a rapidly growing referral practice dedicated to small animal reproduction in New Zealand called “Glenbred” that was initially founded by Dr Marion Wilson who is the inventor of the now internationally practise non- invasive, endoscopic intrauterine insemination technique in bitches called ‘Transcervical Insemination or ‘TCI’. During Fiona’s 12 years in New Zealand she  was the reproductive consultant to the New Zealand Guide Dogs, MPI Detector Dogs and the New Zealand Police and detector dog breeding units, which involved the production of over 350 puppies per year and with the majority of breedings performed with frozen semen imported from other international agencies. Fiona has published 8 book chapters in the field of small animal reproduction and over 55 scientific and clinical refereed publications in small animal reproduction and artificial assisted technologies. Fiona is passionate about large scale working dog breeding programs. Her goal is to provide breeding information and the use of artificial reproductive technologies to large scale breeding programs to facilitate exceptional reproductive performance, and in combination with optimal genetic selection, to ensure the efficient production of generations of a continually improved working dog population for specialized large scale working dog organisations.

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