Reproductive patterns of stray male dogs in the tropics

  • Ortega-Pacheco A
  • Segura-Correa J
  • Bolio-Gonzalez M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Two studies were performed to determine annual reproductive patterns in stray male dogs in the tropics. In Study 1, four dogs housed individually outdoors were monitored once monthly for 12 months, including collection and assessment of semen, measurements of scrotal width, and determination of serum testosterone and prolactin concentrations. In Study 2 (conducted concurrently), a single blood sample (for serum testosterone concentration) was collected from 220 clinically healthy dogs, and after euthanasia, scrotal width and morphology of epididymal sperm were determined. The year was divided into three seasons: warm-dry (March to June); warm-humid (July to October) and fresh-humid (November to February). In Study 1, scrotal width, ejaculate volume, sperm count and motility were significantly lower during the fresh-humid season and sperm midpiece abnormalities were significantly more common during the warm-humid and fresh-humid seasons. Serum testosterone concentrations remained constant during the year. Prolactin concentrations did not differ significantly among seasons, but had a well-defined increase from the beginning of March to the end of August. In Study 2, sperm morphology was similar to in Study 1 and serum testosterone concentrations varied nonsignificantly during the year. Environmental factors, e.g. daylength may have influenced circannual changes in prolactin secretion. Seasonal variations in some reproductive tract and seminal traits were significant but of small magnitude and the percentage of morphologically normal sperm did not vary significantly among seasons. In conclusion, healthy male dogs constantly produced sperm and were apparently fertile throughout the year. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Dogs
  • Prolactin
  • Seasonality
  • Sperm
  • Tropics

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