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Canine Health & Genetics

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Canine Legislature

Pamela A. Davol, 76 Mildred Avenue, Swansea, MA  02777-1620.

Participants Needed for Canine Reproduction Study



There are currently few accurate ways of confirming canine pregnancy early in gestation. Palpation is not accurate. Ultrasound cannot be performed until after about 4 weeks. Because fetal bone is poorly calcified, x-rays may not detect puppies until 2 weeks before birth.

There are reports that the pattern of blood cell clumping in vaginal smears can serve as an indicator of pregnancy as early as 10 days post breeding. We wish to confirm this report.



Is this a reliable way method for confirming pregnancy in the bitch?

How reliable? Does it produce false negative results, false positive results or both?

When is the optimum time to take the swab?

We need to do a preliminary pilot study before beginning a large scale project.


Ms. Sophie Thompson Dr. Eileen Mason
Cytotechnology Program Director 209 Spong Hall
209 Spong Hall Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA 23529
Norfolk, VA 23529 (757) 683-4594
(757) 683-3016 emason@odu.edu



Contact Ms. Sophie Thompson, Cytotechnology Program Director, and request a canine hormonal study test kit (be sure to include your complete mailing address with your request). This will include glass slides, cardboard mailers and sterile swabs.

Age of bitch
Date of first day of estrus
Date of breeding, or statement that the
bitch has not been bred
Date on which swab was taken.


Because we need to know whether this test is sensitive to pregnancy or merely to the end of estrus, we will also need swabs from bitches that have NOT been bred. Slides should be taken, identified and submitted in the same manner. These unbred bitches will serve as controls. It would be especially helpful if we were able to have slides from unbred bitches, taken at what would have been the 10th to 12th day after a breeding, had the bitch been bred.

Because we need to know which days are the best for confirmation of pregnancy, we would greatly appreciate a series of slides, taken on alternate days from Day 8 through Day 16.

To determine the accuracy of the test, we need to know if and when the bitch whelped a litter. If the bitch miscarries or is believed to have resorbed the litter, we need that information. Whelping information should be sent to Dr. Mason.

Because this is a pilot study, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of results. If the test works, you could be among the first to know.

Thank you for helping us with this project.

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