Progesterone Testing

Progesterone is assential for the regulation of the normal females reproductive functions. The Major physiological actions of progesterone are : a) in the uterus and ovary b) in the mammary gland: lubular-alveolar development in preparation for milk secretion; c) in the brain: neurobehavioral expression associated with sexual responsiveness and d) in the bone: prevent of bone loss.
During the follicular phase of the heat cycle, progesterone levels remain low following the LH surge and ovulation, luteal cells in the ruptured follicle produce progesterone in response to LH. During this, the luteal phase, progesterone transforms estrogen-primed endometrium from a proliferative to a secretory state. If conception accurs, the levels of progesterone are maintained at mid-luteal levels by the corpus luteum until about week six. At the time the placenta becomes the main source of progesterone and levels rise from approximately 50-280 ng/mL.
Improper timing of breeding is often the cause of unsuccessful breeding, so progesterone test is always a good way to go specially if you have problem bitches or ones that will not accept the male.
The conception rate after a single breeding is highest if the bitch is bred 3-10 days prior to Day 1 of Diestrus (D1).
After a single breeding, the number of live pups per CL is highest when the breeding occurs 4 days prior to D1 by a proven male. This would equate to the fifth day of estrus for an average, normal 9 day estrus.
Fertile male
The breeding male should be free of canine Brucellocis. The ejaculate should contain at least 200 x 106 total cells after centrifuging is done. It should have 80 % motility. 80% of the cells should have normal morphology.
Dog Breeding
If natural breeding on your bitch is performed, be active in the breeding process of your dogs. Observe the breeding to see if a tie occurred. Optimal Progesterone level and and timing for optimal breeding. This is important because there are several reasons why breeding may not occur, or the fertile period may be missed. Some reasons include: male – female incompatibility caused by physical problems in either the male or female. Psychological problems and behavioral problems. If there are constraints on the availability of the male, or the number of breeding’s possible, it is important that the cycle be monitored carefully to ensure the optimal time to breed.
Management of breeding’s using shipped, chilled semen or frozen semen require excellent timing of the fertile period. Hormone assay for either progesterone or LH. While vaginal cytology is fairly reliable, all other methods are unreliable except for hormone assay. Hormone assays are the best way to determine the fertile period. Relative progesterone concentrations during the proestrual/estrual period.
Relative time points
1.1-1.9 Before LH surge
2.1-2.9 Day of LH surge
3.1-3.9 Days 1-2 after the LH surge
4.0-8.0 Day of ovulation
10-80 2-3 weeks post-ovulation
Progesterone Testing
The initial progesterone rise during estrus in the bitch coincides with the LH peak. Before the LH peak the progesterone is < 1.0 ng/ml. The P4 reads from 1.4 ng/ml.
On the day of the LH peak, progesterone rises to around 1.5 – 2.0 ng/ml. Thereafter the progesterone is > 5 ng/ml.
Using the reader ovulation occurs at about 3.8-5.0 ng/ml (11.7 nmol/L) of progesterone (including the day of ovulation and the 24 hours it takes to ovulate) and the best days to breed is when they are about 17.6-24.1 ng/ml (54-74 nmol/L) of progesterone. Progesterone levels and calculating more or less the day to start. First of all the blood should be taken from the jugular vein, more of less 6 ML and put in a red cap blood container. The normal early readings are: .1 – .2 .3 on normal machines the P4 reads from 1.4 ng/mL.
Start to draw blood from your Bullmastiff bitch on the 7th day. They can go back down to .2 or even .1 – this depends on the time of day the blood was drawn. When the LH surge goes over 1.0 to 1.9 – you can breed your English bulldog in 5 to 6 days. If the 5th day seems a little early – you would want to breed your bitch the 6th and 7th day – then skip a day and breed again. If you draw blood and the level is .2 or .3 – then wait 3 days and draw blood again. 1.4. If you draw blood and the level is .7 or .8 – then you do it every other day .
Once you start to see the level at:
2.0 to 2.9 ng/ml = breed in 4 to 5 days
3.0 to 3.9 ng/ml = breed in 3 to 4 days
4.0 to 8 .0 ng/ml = breed today or tomorrow – this is where the LH Surge Occurs.
Over 8.0 ng/ml with no white sells – then the bitch has ovulated
When you hit the level above 4.0 ng/mL this is day 1 of ovulation. Then it takes approximately 48 hours for the ova’s to mature enough to be fertilized…..then they can be fertilized for approximately another 48 hours.
When you breed – you breed 2 days in a row – then skip a day and breed another time.
When you have an Bullmastiff bitch that do not swell up or has a lot of discharge – then check their thyroid level, and they may have to go on thyroid pills for the rest of her life “Levothyroxine“ is the pill you would need to use.
If your bitch is at a level of progesterone of 5 ng/ml and you have good semen from a good stud you can start to breed her and semen should stay alive inside her for at least 5 to 7 days. If your have semen that was shipped to you and it’s chilled you can start to breed when the progesterone level is at 8.0ng /ML to 12.0 ng/ ML semen should live at least 2 to 4 days inside her.
If you have frozen semen or from an older stud that the motility and quality is no good than you breed when the progesterone level hits at 17 ng/ml to 24ng ml that is when the eggs are fertile and semen will immediately enter the egg.
Canine Progesterone level Chart
Day Estrogen Level Progesterone Level Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Level When To Breed Based On Semen Type Whelping Indicators
-3 day High < 1 ng/ml Low – –
-2 day Moderate 2-3 ng/ml Surge – –
-1 day Low 3-4 ng/ml Low – –
0 (ovulation) Low 5 ng/ml Low – –
+1 day – > 5 ng/ml – Natural semen –
+2 day – > 5 ng/ml – Fresh chilled semen –
+3 day – > 5 ng/ml – Frozen semen –
+2-3 weeks – 10-80 ng/ml – – –
+62 day +/- 1 – 2 ng/ml – – Temperature drops
+63 +/- 1 – 1 ng/ml – – Whelping
< = Less than > = Greater than