Vaginal cytology is performed on female dogs during their estrus cycle to help determine the optimum time to breed and improve the chances of pregnancy. The types of cells present in the vagina vary depending on the stage of estrus. A swab is taken of the cells lining the vagina and analysed under a microscope. Usually more than one swab is required to determine the optimum time to breed.
The technique is considerably useful when having to travel long distances to the stud dog or on bitches who have unexplainable missed on previous occasions. Slides are taken over a number of days with optimum results expected between day 9 and 14 of the bitch’s heat cycle, but in some cases on unsuccessful bitches in the past these days can vary.
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