Effects of Incubation Temperature and Semen Pooling on the Viability of Fresh, Chilled and Freeze-Thawed Canine Semen Samples


Author’s address (for correspondence): M Batista, Unit of Reproduction and Obstetrics, Veterinary Faculty, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Transmontaña, s/n 35413, Arucas, Las Palmas, Spain. E-mail: mbatista@dpat.ulpgc.es


This study assessed the effects of different incubation temperatures on semen viability and the influence of pooling on semen longevity. In experiment 1, semen samples were collected from five dogs, individually processed (individual semen: IS) and then aliquots from each male were pooled (pooled semen: PS). Semen samples (IS and PS) were diluted in a Tris-glucose-yolk extender and preserved as fresh (37 and 25°C) and chilled semen (4°C). Sperm motility and the percentages of sperm abnormalities and acrosome membrane integrity were assessed for 24 h. Storage at 25 or 4°C for the first 24 h yielded similar semen quality, but incubation at 37°C caused drastic reduction in sperm motility from 8 h of incubation onwards. In experiment 2, the semen was processed in the same way to that of experiment 1 and then preserved at 25 or 4°C until semen inactivation. Semen that was incubated at 25°C became completely inactive after 3–4 days of storage, while semen that was preserved at 4°C presented with more gradually decreased sperm motility (mean values of 40–60% for the first 8 days). In addition, the mixing of semen was only observed to influence the sperm quality of the samples stored at 4°C. In experiment 3, semen was collected from five dogs, pooled and frozen in liquid nitrogen; after thawing, it was preserved at 37, 25, 15 and 4°C, and the sperm quality was defined. The motility of the freeze-thawed semen samples decreased quickly in the first 4 h after thawing, regardless of the preservation temperature of the thawed semen. This study confirmed that semen preserved at 37°C should be used within a maximum of 12 h, while the semen stored at 25°C shows acceptable quality for 24 h. Chilled semen presented highest most sustainable quality, especially when semen is processed as pooled semen.