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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23811
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Infertility stud dog

Customer Question

infertility stud dog
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have a German Shepherd proven stud dog who was on antibiotics that lowered his sperm count. We waited 6 weeks and the sperm quality came back. Right afterwards, he bred to females back to back for a tie each day for a week. A few days post breeding and his sperm count is gone down to being nonexistent. However, during breeding I administered some arthritis medicine only to find out later that it can also lower sperm count. Is his current infertility due to the medicine or over breeding? Can medicine cause infertility within a week? Or is it more likely that he was over bred and it will return to normal within another week or two? Or do we have to start over and wait another 6 weeks to see improvement?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry, that should say two females. He had two females that he bred back to back over the course of 7 days.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I believe that both drug administration and husbandry need to be considered. Exogenous drug administration is well-known to decrease sperm counts. The drugs most incriminatory are corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, other steroid hormones, chronic nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) usage, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist/antagonists, and chemotherapeutic agents. Can you clarify for me, please, what "some arthritis medicine" implies - which drug and for how long was it administered? Reducing the number of matings per cycle would be prudent. For example, when collecting for AI every other day is as frequent as I would allow. To know when your male should be bred again routine (monthly) microscopic reevaluation of the spermiogram and reassessing of endocrine function as indicated is prudent. There's nothing magic about waiting 6 weeks. Administration of daily glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acid, and DHA supplement may be of benefit for asthenozoospermia (decreased numbers of progressively motile spermatozoa per ejaculate - less than 30-50%). Administration of daily zinc sulfate, carnitine, and vitamin E supplement may be of benefit for all conditions. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Dr Salkin,He finished his antibiotic course, plus prednisone, for Lyme on March 1st. He was on an 8 week treatment. Roughly 5 weeks later, even though his sperm count was still low, he was bred back to back. We opted to allow the breedings, because this might be his last chance to produce pups and we would like to keep his line going. We risked possibly missing or smaller litters to attempt this. During the week of breeding, his arthritis started to flare more than usual. I put him on a natural medicine called T Relief, which seems to help. However, it has an herb known to lower sperm count. Calendula officinalis apparently caused a lower sperm count in lab rats and apparently is being looked at for a birth control method.It seems as though any medicine for arthritis that might actually work, also seems to lower sperm count.Thanks,
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I forgot to add, the 6 weeks is what I was told by a repro vet we used a few years back for an average time on sperm recycling. Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** the good update. I'm not aware of any studies of Calendula vis a vis sperm counts in dogs but it sounds like it's a worthy candidate of something to avoid in him. The prednisone, of course, is well known in that regard. I like the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil for osteoarthritic dogs. I dose it at 20 mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil. It would have the added benefit of aiding his return to fertility. Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you! I have him on 1,500 fish oil right now and he is about 90 lbs. Perhaps I could increase to 2,000? He's also on green lipid mussel, msm, and hyaluronic acid. Perhaps I am going a little overboard. My hopes had been to increase his count enough to collect and freeze this summer, but I am starting to feel like its a pipe dream. He really needs something stronger for the arthritis, but I don't know what would help and not make him sterile.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Remember, it's the EPA that's dosed at 20 mg/lb or 1800 mg daily for him. You should be able to find an EPA supplement (only) in a health food store. The other supplements have a checkered history and so the best I can say is that they won't be harmful. I agree, you may be limited to these naturally occurring supplements. Hee's my complete synopsis of osteoarthritis in dogs for you. Some of it is redundant and contraindicated and so just ignore it...We use a multimodal approach to osteoarthritis in our dogs - dietary management, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory pain relief, neutraceuticals, life-style changes and stem cell therapy. When used concomitantly these approaches should synergize and provide the best control of symptoms. For example, he might show considerable improvement if you add fish oil to diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are anti-inflammatory. I use the cost-effective generic human fish oils and dose them at 20 mg/lb daily of the EPA in the fish oil. You'll find the amount of EPA on the label of the fish oil product.Avoid flax oil because it is poorly bioavailable to dogs. They can't metabolize it properly.If you prefer, there are diets that are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids. Hill's Prescription Diet j/d is one such diet.Many vets feel that injections of Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) work better than oral neutraceuticals such as glucosamine/chondroiton sulfate or the over the counter Cosequin or prescription Dasequin (please see here: Adequan is injected into himweekly for a number of weeks at his vet's discretion. You can read more about Adequan here: stem cell therapy has come into its own and is now available for addressing osteoarthritis in dogs . Please see Vet-Stem's website here for more information:***@******.*** The regenerative stem cells are created from his fat cells and are capable of differentiating into a variety of tissue types including tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, and muscle and have been proven to reduce pain and inflammation. We have to suspect that just as in people, geriatric osteoarthritis in dogs is painful. If a prescription nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as carprofen or meloxicam isn't sufficient for controlling pain, please consider adding a well-tolerated narcotic such as tramadol to these therapies mentioned above. All of these drugs are available from his vet. Aspirin dosed at 10 mg/lb with food every 12 hours can be helpful in a pinch.Weight reduction is essential. The less weight his joints need to carry, the better.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you so much! He has responded extremely well to Tramadol in the past. I have considered putting him back on it. Is it harmful for a long term solution?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
You're quite welcome. Tolerance can develop to tramadol just as to any narcotic. It's generally well-tolerated, however. There are no animal reproduction studies involving this drug in dogs.

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