Premating Planning

- Select stud dog or obtain access to semen

- Investigate transport options if bringing semen from out of town / overseas

- Select a method of mating - natural, artificial insemination, frozen / chilled semen

- Ensure all health testing requirements for your breed are completed - DNA, hip and elbow scores etc

- Ensure you bitch is in optimal health - worming and vaccination status up-to-date

- Ideal weight - remember that overweight bitches are less likely to conceive

- Traps to avoid - what not to feed, medications to avoid


Premating Testing

Progesterone is a hormone released by the ovary that can be used to gauge fertility.  Through correct testing and interpretation we can help maximise you chances of success.  Contact us and we can tailor a plan to suit your breeding requirements.  If you are not in Christchurch we can advise you what steps to take so that you can get accurate lab results where you live.

Important things to consider are: what laboratory will be used; what type of machine they have; timing of tests; frequency of tests and when to retest; and issues specific to your bitch.

Vaginoscopy using a scope allows us to further recognise the fertile period of your bitch.  This visual examination is non-invasive and further helps pinpoint the exact time of fertility.

We can also help identifiy issues if matings have been unsuccessful in the past.  Having trouble getting pups?  Give us a call


Health Testing

Total Vets endorses the Accredited Breeders Scheme and offers all the health testing services you need and can advise on the correct tests required for your breed.  Health testing ensures you help eliminate breed specific problems and improve the long term health of your breed.

- DNA testing and profiling

- Digital radiography for hip and elbow scoring

- Penn Hip certified

- Regular Baer hearing test clinics by specialist neurologist

- Regular visits by special ophthalmologist for eye certificates


Types of Insemination


This is a simple and non-invasive procedure where the stud dog's semen is collected and then the semen is inseminated directly into the bitch - the whole process takes about 30 minutes.  This method is not suitable for frozen semen and is not ideal for chilled semen either.  No surgery or sedation is required and this technique is ideal when there is difficulty in achieving a natural mating or if there is aggression.

 Fresh AI

The plastic catheter has a balloon at the end which is inflated once in place before the semen is released.  The balloon seals to prevents the semen from escaping.


TCI stands for TransCervical Insemination and uses a catheter to deposit the semen directly into the uterus through the cervix.  This process can be used with fresh, chilled or frozen semen and maximises the chances of success by ensuring the semen is delivered into the uterus.  This is a non-invasive process, no surgery or sedation is required and it typically takes 30 minutes.  We use the Storz endoscope that is specifically designed for TCI.  TCI may not be suitable for every bitch.


Surgical Insemination

As with TCI this method can be used with fresh, chilled or frozen semen.  The semen is surgically deposited directly into the uterus close to the ovaries.  This method allows the uterus to be visually examined during the procedure.  As the procedure is surgical a general anaesthetic is required.


Management of Pregnancy

- Ultrasound pregnancy diagnosis

- Low power digital Xray system

- Elective and emergency Caesarian section

- Vet "mid-wife" advice for your piece or mind

- 24 / 7 veterinary advice

- Advice and care of puppies


Total Vets Semen Services

- Collection, freezing and storage

- Assessment of stud dog semen

- Export and import of frozen semen worldwide

- Transport of frozen semen within New Zealand and internationally

- Chilled semen preparation and shipment within New Zealand and to Australia

The purchase and use of frozen-thawed semen is expensive so we want you to have the best chance of success - that is why Total Vets is your best choice for anything to do with breeding.

It is important to plan well in advance which dog you would like to use and where it is located so that there is plenty of time to meet the import requirements of MPI and ensure the semen arrives safely and on time.  Advance notice will allow the time necessary to:

- Investigate regulations / requirements of the country of exportation and local kennel registry

- Obtain necessary documents

- Have semen frozen according to regulations

- Arrange shipping of semen in specially designed containers which keep the semen frozen while it is being transported.

 Total Vets are trained and accredited in the use of both straws and pelleted frozen semen.  Give us a call or email to discuss what is best for your needs prior to collection.

Semen is stored in liquid nitrogen at -190 degrees - power is not needed to keep the semen frozen.  Once frozen it has an indefinite life - we have had successful matings from semen that was frozen over 25 years ago!