Fully Quantitative Serum Progesterone Blood Testing
Results in approx 1 hour of receipt – 365 Days a Year
Please telephone/ text in advance for processing of urgent samples delivered by hand or posted using the Royal Mail before 9am Special Delivery Service.
Progesterone … what is it and what does it mean?
The hormone progesterone is “The engine that pulls the reproduction train” its rise, its sustenance and fall is what dictates ovulation, sustains pregnancy and ends pregnancy. It is the gold standard in pinpointing ovulation and is also utilized in human fertility
We have two state of the art analyzers as used in Laboratories & hospitals worldwide, they are one of the most reliable & accurate available on the market today and not to be confused with equipment being produced by various companies/countries that are low grade pieces of kit that do not require annual maintenance, regular calibration or quality control checks, our analyzers work on the ELSA principal and therefore provide a fully quantitative result.
We have gained vast knowledge through years of working with breeders & being breeders ourselves and this we feel gives us the edge on interpreting progesterone results, laboratory staff are not always breeders themselves and just work off charts & others who have started clinics in recent times are relatively new to breeding & don’t have experience, for decades we have worked with breeders from start to finish from first discussing reproductive history, progesterone testing, mating and subsequently scanning this has generated a huge database about variables and what should happen, what can happen and what sometimes doesn’t happen. Each case is looked upon individually, tailoring advice dependent on circumstances such as previous failure to conceive, distance traveling to stud dog, age of stud dog, whether there is opportunity for multiple matings and whether it is fresh, chilled or frozen semen being used, it is these small adjustments in timing and the advice we give that can be key to conception and can only be given from experience and working very closely on a one to one basis.
I could write much more about how this hormone behaves (or doesn’t in some cases) but our interpretation and the advice we give is exclusively for clients choosing our Progesterone Testing Services.
Things to avoid
The most important thing to avoid is leaving it late in your bitches season before doing your first test and then possibly having a shock to be told she is further on than you thought, googling and confusing yourselves, going on forums & getting conflicting advice from people who have little to no in-depth understanding about the hormone progesterone.
- We cannot recommend the “In-House” or “off the shelf ” premate tests offered by some veterinary practices and some clinics, they can be affected by a change in temperature & often very subjective to how each individual perceives colour change (as this is what the test result is based on) we have dealt with many distressed breeders who have initially chosen the “in house” test and advice given by the provider only to find that in reality when running a fully quantitative progesterone test with that their bitch hasn’t yet ovulated or more often is well past her fertile window.
- Vaginal Cytology, this can be useful, however, vaginal cytology is a procedure that almost tells a story and just like reading a book, it’s no good doing one off swabs and trying to guess the rest of the plot, as the vaginal tract alters in preparation of mating the skin cell shapes change, we know that bitches ovulate when they are in the part of their season called estrus and how the cells appear under microscopic examination when bitches are in this stage, however the length of a bitches estrus can vary from as little as 2 days to 2 or more weeks, trying to work out within this longer period when to do matings is just not really worthy any longer since the rise in popularity and the highly accurate method of progesterone testing.
- Vaginal Resistivity, this is a method that is claimed to be successful by the manufacturers of a devise using a probe that inserts into the vaginal tract, it was developed and used for the insemination of foxes, however measuring vaginal resistivity presents too much variability, the length of a bitches vaginal tract makes it impossible to take measurements at a specific spot each time, also daily insertion of this instrument requires scrupulous disinfection to avoid causing infection
- Ovulation sticks are a small paper strip with pad that claims to detect ovulation by a colour change based on vaginal secretions, there is absolutely no science to back this claim in fact 90% of all normal healthy bitches have aerobic bacteria in the caudal vagina (the end of the vagina that is nearest to the bitches tail) and that is the bit that bitches sit on, at home, at dog shows, on your back garden, in the kennel and while out walking, it doesn’t take much guessing to see how those bacteria got there, along with residue from urinating.dabbing a pad on this area has no correlation to what is happening hormonally.
- Saliva (interpretation of the ferning pattern) again useful in some cases has its limitations and is not comparable to Serum Progesterone Testing.
- Finally don’t make the mistake of thinking that by progesterone testing you are laying in wait for those “magic numbers” to mate on, you are testing to pinpoint ovulation, progesterone can rise slowly or rapidly thereafter so every bitch can be at totally different level days 2,3,4 post ovulation which is her fertile window and it is our full understanding of these varying rises that enables us to give you the very best advice.