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Comprehensive Care + 24 Hour Emergency

Reproductive Medicine

Golden retriever mother and her puppy

Meet Our Specialists

Theriogenology (Reproductive Medicine) Service

The Theriogenology Service at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals provides reproductive medicine services for companion animals - primarily dogs - including breeding management, transcervical insemination, semen freezing and infertility examinations. We also provide medical and surgical treatment for conditions related to the reproductive system including uterine disease, obstetrics and neonatal care. Our staff includes two board-certified veterinarians who collaborate with other veterinarians across the Northeast.

We offer the latest diagnostic, treatment and reproductive medicine techniques and we provide emergency services and hospitalization in a state-of-the-art facility. We work as a team with a broad range of other specialists including anesthesiologists, radiologists and surgeons to ensure our patients receive the most comprehensive care possible. And our experienced staff provides nursing care 24 hours a day.

Advanced Techniques

  • Transcervical insemination
  • Semen freezing
  • Infertility examinations
  • Obstetrics monitoring for complicated pregnancies

What to Expect

Our Policies

  • We require all breeding patients to be in good health and have a current negative Brucellosis test within 6 months. We can submit the Brucellosis test at your pet's first appointment if it is not up to date.

    Pre-breeding health screening for heritable conditions is strongly recommended for all of our canine patients. You can find health testing guidelines for most breeds through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals  or through your breed's parent club.

    Please note that we may decline to provide reproductive services for your animal if we detect or suspect a health defect that is known to be heritable, or if we feel that breeding the animal in question could put their overall health at risk by carrying a pregnancy. Examples include vaginal prolapse or hyperplasia, cryptorchidism (retained testicles), significant airway disease, and functional heart murmurs. We may also recommend or require additional testing prior to breeding if an abnormality is noted on our physical examination that has not been previously worked up. We will not offer reproductive services for animals that show any signs of aggressive behavior.

For your appointment

  • Your scheduled visit to the Theriogenology Service at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals begins with a check-in at the reception desk. You will be greeted in the waiting room by one or two students rotating on the Theriogenology Service, our technician or a Theriogenology Resident and be taken to a private examination room. Once there, the students, resident and faculty will collect information about your animal's history and then perform a physical examination. We appreciate your patience and understanding in allowing the future veterinarians to interact with you and your pet.

    Next, the scheduled procedures will be performed and any diagnostic samples will be submitted to the lab.  The Resident will call you when the lab results are in and work on setting up your next appointment.  

Reproductive Medicine: Medical Conditions

Breeding management

We can help plan the breeding of your bitch well in advance. Typically, we start seeing bitches soon after owners notice the first signs of estrus or heat. By examining her three times a week and measuring her blood progesterone concentrations, we can determine the ideal time for insemination to maximize fertility and litter size. We can assist in management of natural breeding, artificial insemination with fresh, cooled-shipped, or frozen semen. We can provide an accurate expected whelping date and monitor the health of the bitch and the fetuses during pregnancy. Similarly, we can assist in collection of semen for local insemination, cooled-shipment elsewhere or cryopreservation for later use.

We also offer investigation of infertility of male and female animals, including investigation of anatomical and functional abnormalities, semen analysis, screening for infectious diseases, endometrial or testicular biopsy and appropriate treatment. We offer full breeding soundness exam and partner with medical geneticists.

In appropriate cases, we offer medical treatment of pyometra and manage the subsequent breeding of affected animals. We also assist with management of benign prostatic hyperplasia of breeding dogs to maintain fertility.

Obstetrical complications

If you are unfortunate enough to experience complications during whelping or queening, we provide assistance with medical and surgical management of obstetrical cases.

Related Info

American College of Theriogenologists
A non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and competence in theriogenology, or animal reproduction.