What causes infertility in male dogs?
There are many possible causes of infertility in male dogs that can be broken down into three broad categories: failure to copulate (breed) or ejaculate, poor semen quality, and prostatic disease diseases
What causes failure to copulate or ejaculate?
There are many reasons why a male dog may have difficulty with breeding or ejaculation. Some of these reasons are behavioral, while others are due to physical or medical factors.
A common behavioral cause of infertility is the dynamic between the male and female; if a male dog is introduced to a non-receptive or aggressive female, a refusal to breed is a normal result. Additionally, a male dog that is anxious due to his surroundings, is inexperienced, or is not sexually mature may also refuse to copulate with a receptive female. Attempting to promote breeding on a slippery floor may lead to apprehension, as the male feels less secure in his footing and may be reluctant to mount the female.
Physical conditions that cause discomfort in the spine or rear legs can result in a reluctance to copulate. These conditions may include spinal disease, arthritis, or trauma. Diseases of the penis may also result in painful copulation, causing reluctance.
A condition known as retrograde ejaculation may be responsible for an inability to ejaculate. In dogs with retrograde ejaculation, sperm enters the bladder with ejaculation instead of traveling to the tip of the penis. This makes the male physically incapable of ejaculating into the female.
If a dog successfully conceives, what can cause pregnancy loss?
Pregnancy loss may be attributed to several factors. Imbalances in reproductive hormones may result in insufficient hormone levels to sustain a pregnancy. Other hormonal imbalances (e.g., diabetes and hypothyroidism) may affect reproductive hormone levels and result in pregnancy loss. The administration of certain drugs (e.g., corticosteroids) may lead to fetal death, as can some infections (e.g., Brucellosis).