The semen analysis is the most helpful and truthful test that should be done if a dog is suspected to be infertile. We also must consider the high variability of results variability, it means that the test must be repeated after some time: there are indeed some factors which can alter the test, some of them are antibiotic use, high fever and an unfortunate delivery to the lab.
The dog must be abstinent from 3 to 7 days before the test. The semen sample must be put in a sterilized container and kept there, where the temperature must be stable (between 20° and 30°), the semen must liquefy and after will be further analyzed through a microscopical and macroscopical test.
Macroscopic test: during this phase several factors are analyzed: volume, aspect, pH, fluidization, viscosity, and the presence of potential bacteria.
Microscopic test: during this phase the factors that must be analyzed to verify if a dog is infertile or not are concentration, motility, and morphology.
More particularly the factors that are analyzed according to the WHO 2010 parameters are:
-CONCENTRATION: normal values ≥ 15.000.000/ml
-MOTILITY: total motility A+B+C ≥ 40% (spermatozoa rapidly progressive + slowly progressive + movable in place).
-MORPHOLOGY: normal shapes ≥ 4%
The semen’s test may reveal:
-Seminal liquid’s absence.
-Spermatozoa’s absence (azoospermia).
-Reduced number of spermatozoa (oligospermia).
-Spermatozoa’s reduced mobility (asthenospermia).
-Flaws in the shape of spermatozoa (teratozoospermia).
According to the experts, the seminal liquid test should be completed with other two exams: the SPERMIOCULTURE that can reveal any bacteria in the seminal liquid, and the MAR-TEST that allows to verify if the spermatozoa can enter the oocyte.