This Proceedings volume of the Seventh Quadrennial INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON CANINE AND FELINE REPRODUCTION (ISCFR – 2012) is titled Canine and Feline Reproduction VII: Reproductive Biology and Medicine of Domestic and Exotic Carnivores. The ISCFR – 2012 Whistler Symposium was held as a joint meeting with EVSSAR, the European Veterinary Society for Small Animal Reproduction and as a satellite meeting to the subsequent International Congress on Animal Reproduction (ICAR) in Vancouver. The symposium was held from 26 to 29 July 2012 at the Westin Whistler Resort, Whistler Mountain Village, British Columbia, Canada.


Every 4 years, this symposium brings together scientists representing nearly all the major laboratories worldwide investigating canine, feline and endangered carnivore reproduction, fertility and contraception and allows them to share recent research and consider new avenues of cooperation and collaboration. The 7th quadrennial ISCFR follows upon past meetings in Dublin, Ireland (1988), Liege, Belgium (1992), Veldhoven, Holland (1996), Oslo, Norway (2000), Embu das Artes, SP, Brazil (2004) and Vienna, Austria (2008). These have included two previous joint meetings with EVSSAR, in 2000 and 2008. ISCFR – 2012 was record-setting, with over 200 presentations on the Program. It was the first time for an ISCFR in North America. The 2012 joint meeting with EVSSAR was the first time for an EVSSAR meeting to be held outside of Europe. We are grateful to EVSSAR and the EVSSAR Board for their cooperation in the organization of the 7th ISCFR, providing many of the featured speakers and assisting with the extensive editorial work involved. Very special thanks are extended to Prof. Wojciech Niżański of Wroclaw University, EVSSAR President, and Prof. Tom Rijsselaere, Ghent University, EVSSAR Vice president, for their efforts in the organization of the meeting and setting of the programme.

The longevity of the ISCFR remains indebted to past local organizing committees headed by Michael Dore (Dublin), John Verstegen (Liege), Ad Rijnberk and Hans Kooistra (Veldhoven), Wenche Farstad and Catharina Linde-Forsberg (Oslo), M. Denise Lopes and colleagues (Embu das Artes, Sao Paulo), and Sabine Schaefer-Somi and colleagues (Vienna).

‘ISCFR Proceedings’ Book Series

Each ISCFR results in a post-conference ‘Proceedings’ volume of peer-reviewed papers representing the reviews and research papers selected as representing the Symposium highlights, the major invited reviews and the most seminal contributions to our science from among the many research reports of the meeting. This book series has become the definitive resource on the history, state of the art and direction of canine and feline reproduction research. As a group, the Proceedings are the most frequently referenced source material on the subject. They have been published by the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, by the journal Theriogenology and most recently by the journal Reproduction in Domestic Animals.

ISCFR – 2012 Proceedings Volume

The 2012 Proceedings are again published by Reproduction in Domestic Animals as a special Supplement to the journal. RDA is the official journal of EVSSAR. We thank Prof. Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez, editor of RDA for his support and efforts to bring these Proceedings to RDA subscribers and ISCFR delegates in a timely manner.

These Proceedings consist of peer-reviewed full papers representing 98 of the 200 research reports and invited reviews presented at the meeting considered to best represent the highlights of ISCFR – 2012. The papers invited, reviewed and accepted were considered the most relevant, innovative and scientifically important reviews and research reports at the meeting, based on the scoring and reviews provided by the ISCFR Abstract Review Committee and the Scientific Committee. The papers are grouped by subject matter according to general themes covered by the 21 Symposium sessions including (1) ovarian function; (2) oocyte maturation, fertilization and transfer; (3) embryo biology, manipulation, cryopreservation and transfer; (4) pregnancy, parturition and neonatal life; (5) cryopreservation of gametes; (6) andrology, sperm biology, semen evaluation and artificial insemination; (7) reproductive health and disease; (8) contraception and deslorelin implants for fertility control.

The Editorial Committee has processed with the help of the Abstract Review Committee and the Proceedings Scientific Committee the largest numbers of reports and manuscripts in the history of the ISCFR. Very special thanks is extended to Chris Holland, at the office of the Dean, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nottingham, who managed the collection and distribution of Abstracts and Proceedings manuscripts, author correspondence, editorial committee assignments and processing of reviews and manuscripts and communications with the journal. A formidable task and a job well done. Thank you Chris.

The ‘Scientific Committee’ members served as reviewers for the Proceedings papers and not only individually managed an extraordinary number of manuscript reviews in a short period of time but also assisted the Editorial Committee in the editing process to help ensure the quality of the Proceedings. We thank them all for their extensive efforts and in particular thank Prof. Berndt Hoffman, Giessen, Prof. Tom Rijsselaere, Ghent, Prof. Catharina Linde-Forsberg, Uppsala, and Dr Martha Gomez, New Orleans. The review process was coordinated by the four members of the editorial committee. The resulting ‘Proceedings Book’ thus consists of 98 peer-reviewed papers representing almost half the total abstracts presented at the symposium, and an acceptance of 86% of manuscripts requested from authors of abstracts selected based on the original abstract's quality, timeliness and importance as determined by the Abstract Review Committee.

Special assistance for accomplishing the print publication of the Proceedings has been provided by Virbac Animal Health. Their support makes possible the distribution of the proceedings to many veterinary and biomedical research libraries around the world. The committee thanks Francoise Emily and Christelle Navarro for facilitating Virbac support of the printed proceedings.


Symposium Abstracts and Abstracts Book

Over 220 abstracts were submitted, and 200 were accepted, the largest number in the history of ISCFR. All the originally accepted Abstracts were published in the ‘Program and Abstract Book ‘of the 7th ISCFR and EVSSAR-XV, edited by Gary England, Michelle Kutzler, Pierre Comizzoli, Wojciech Nizanski, Tom Rijsselaere and Patrick Concannon. We thank Sapphire Chamberlain at the University of Nottingham who was responsible for the initial typesetting of the abstracts. The Abstracts Book also serves as the formal proceedings of EVSSAR-XV. We are grateful to Minitube of America for providing each delegate with a souvenir thumb drive with the electronic version of the Abstracts Book. The Abstracts Book for the 7th ISCFR has also been archived and made available online to the animal research and veterinary communities by the International Veterinary Information Service–IVIS at, along with the Abstracts of all the presentations at the 6th ISCFR (Vienna, 2008). The editors are grateful to Ms Stéphanie Fuseau and to Dr Irma Revah, Editor-in-chief, at IVIS, for assistance with the production of the ISCFR – 2012 and EVSSAR – 2012 Abstracts Book.

Working Committees

We are greatly indebted to all those colleagues who made the meeting possible by their contributions through several committees, including the EVSSAR 2012 Planning Committee, the North American Symposium Planning Committee with members from Canada, Mexico and the USA, the Abstract Review Committee, the Proceedings Review Scientific Committee and the Editorial Committee. Members of all committees are listed below.

Symposium Program, Attendance and Delegate Numbers

The Program included a Thursday evening welcome reception and opening ceremony, a Friday evening poster review reception, a Saturday banquet and Sunday afternoon closing and ‘awards ceremony’ in addition to six Plenary Sessions and 15 Parallel Research Report Sessions. The symposium speakers and delegates represented a unique gathering of representatives of the most active and prestigious research programmes in carnivore reproduction worldwide, with interests ranging from basic biological issues and clinical methods to molecular and cellular aspects of reproduction and reproductive disease, as well as product development and marketing, along with their students and trainees.

The local organizing committee for the Symposium was headed by Dr Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University, Corvallis Oregon and Dr Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Institution and National Zoo, Washington, DC. The volunteer staff that provided for the actual operation of the symposium on site was comprised of students of reproductive biology and veterinary medicine at Oregon State University: Caitlin Donovan, Elizabeth Fellows, Justine Gullaba and Tabitha Wolf, as well as Dr Bruna De Vita, a stem cell biologist and veterinarian from Vancouver, BC and Sao Paulo, Brazil. At the closing ceremony, they were applauded heavily for their work at the symposium. We wish them well in their respective careers.

Over 230 delegates from 30 countries plus their guests were in attendance. There were 200 research reports and reviews presented, including 18 plenary lectures, 15 keynote addresses, 90 oral research reports, and 77 posters and other communications. The largest numbers of delegates were from the USA (68), Brazil (28) and Germany (20). Brazil distinguished itself by dominance not only at several scientific sessions but also on the dance floor after the gala banquet and introduced students and septuagenarians alike to MBP, Brazilian house and electronica, forro, lambada, samba and balada. Some of the more obvious and vocal groups on and off the dance floor were comprised of Pierre Comizzoli and his colleagues from the National Zoo reproduction research programme, Denise Lopes and her students and colleagues from Botucatu, SP and elsewhere in Brazil, Karine Reynaud and her colleagues from Alfort (Paris), France, and the folks from Oregon State, although the ‘dancing all night long’ award went to delegates from Ithaca, USA. Under represented on the dance floor were delegates from the UK and Poland, whereas Italy, Belgium, Argentina and Mexico eventually succumbed to the call of Brazilian electronica.

Scientific Sessions and Speakers

The committee thanks our 18 plenary session speakers who provided excellent reviews of the state of the art on diverse aspects of reproduction research. The programme included six plenary sessions entitled Past, Present & Future of Carnivore Reproduction Research; Genetic Aspects of Reproduction; Phenomena of Pregnancy; Basic Research Using Clinical Material; Ova and Embryos: to, from and through the oviduct; and Reproductive Control, Intervention and Contraception.

The titles of the 15 sessions of keynote lectures and short research presentations reflected the breath of the research reported, ranging from gamete and embryo biology and cryopreservation to the basic physiology, pathophysiology and clinical management of gonadal function, pregnancy and parturition. The sessions included the following: semen and semen cryopreservation; deslorelin implants for fertility control; ovarian activity in different biological states; interface of basic and applied reproduction research; endocrine and molecular control mechanisms; reproductive health: factors affecting development, fertility & pregnancy outcome; monitoring reproductive activity; embryo biology and manipulation; advances in semen evaluation & artificial insemination; oocyte biology and culture; neonatal and environmental adaptations and seasonal breeding; pregnancy diagnosis, management & outcome; challenges in embryo cryopreservation; pregnancy and parturition; and endometrial responses to hormones, embryos & infection.


We most especially thank all the sponsors for their generous support of ISCFR – 2012 and EVSSAR – 2012. The symposium sponsors were as follows:

The Michelson Prize and Grants Program of the Found Animals Foundation, Los Angeles


Pfizer Animal Health and Synbiotics


Royal Canin Canada


Minitube of America


Mars Veterinary


The Morris Animal Foundation, and


IVIS–The International Veterinary Information Service


Program Committee and Local Organizing Committee Kudos

The Whistler Symposium would not have been possible without the efforts of Dr Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University and Dr Pierre Comizzoli, the Smithsonian Institution and National Zoo, Washington, DC. They co-chaired both the Local Organizing Committee and the Program Committee as well as serving on the Abstract Review Committee and Scientific Committee. The Executive Committee wishes to acknowledge their special prominence in the organization, management and conduct of the meeting.

ISCFR Delegate Recognition Awards

The following awards and several Special Awards were announced and presented at the Symposium and recipients heavily applauded by the audience, at the end of the closing ceremony.

Erin Curry, USA

Best Student Presentation Award

Emily Nestle, USA

Best Student Poster Award

Sudson Sirivaidyapong, THA

ISCFR Delegate Special Attendance Award

(Awarded for significant travel efforts to attend three or more ISCFR meetings)

Natali Krekeler, AUS

ISCFR New Investigator Award

Karine Reynaud, FRA

ISCFR Research Award

Awarded to a young or established investigator in recognition of continued significant research achievements in the last 5 years)

Sabine Schäfer-Somi, AUT

ISCFR Senior Investigator Award

Awarded to an established investigator in recognition of their research achievements over the last 10 years

G. Cecilia Luvoni, ITA

ISCFR Award for a Career of Graduate or Postgraduate Training

Bruce Murphy, CAN

ISCFR Award for Comparative or Nondomestic Carnivore Reproduction Research

Lucia D. M. Silva, Brazil

ISCFR Clinical Research Career Award

Thomas Hildebrandt, GER

ISCFR Species Preservation Research Award

John Verstegen, USA

ISCFR Basic Research Career Award

Awarded to a senior investigator in recognition of significant basic research achievements over the last 20 years

Special Awards

Gary England, UK

EVSSAR Honorary Member Award, that Society's highest accolade, presented by the EVSSAR President

Cheryl Lopate, USA

The International Veterinary Information Service's ‘ISCFR Delegate Award for Continuing Education in Small Animal Reproduction’ given in recognition of contributions to veterinary small animal reproduction education. Presented by Michelle Kutzler, ISCFR

Carlos Gradil, USA

The International Veterinary Information Service's ‘ISCFR Delegate Award for Informatics in Small Animal Reproduction’ in recognition of contributions to internet-based education and information in small animal reproduction. Presented by Patrick Concannon, IVIS

Karine Reynaud, FRA

The Minitube of America's Ludwig Simmet Sr. Small Animal Reproduction Young Investigator Award

Presented by J Verstegen, VP, Minitube

Patrick Concannon, USA

The Minitube of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in Small Animal Reproduction

Presented by J Verstegen, VP, Minitube

ISCFR – 2016

The continuation of the ISCFR as a quadrennial symposium series and as a satellite meeting of ICAR and a joint venture with EVSSAR when and where possible was considered an advantage by the members of the various committees and many delegates. Many participants proceeded onto the ICAR in Vancouver. The next ICAR is scheduled to be held during the summer of 2016 in Tours, France and an ISCFR – 2016 venue in Western Europe is therefore contemplated. On behalf of the organizing committees, we wish to thank all who participated in ISCFR – 2012, and we look forward to seeing them at another successful symposium in 2016. And, the Executive Committee wishes to again thank Michelle Kutzler and Pierre Comizzoli for making ISCFR – 2012 a very special experience for all of us.

ISCFR Executive Committee

Patrick Concannon (USA)

John Verstegen (USA)

Gary England (UK)

ISCFR – 2012–EVSSAR – 2012 WHISTLER Committees

ISCFR Executive Committee

 Gary England, University of Nottingham, UK

John Verstegen, Minitube of America, USA

Patrick Concannon, Cornell University and International Veterinary Information Service, USA

ISCFR VII International Organizing Committee

Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University, USA

Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Institution, USA

John Verstegen, Minitube of America, USA

Gary England, University of Nottingham, UK

Patrick Concannon, Cornell University and International Veterinary Information Service, USA

EVSSAR-XV and 2012 Congress Planning Committee

 Wojciech Nizanski, Wroclaw, POL, Chairman

Tom Rijsselaere, Ghent, BEL

Xavier Levy, L'Isle-Jourdain, FRA

G. Cecilia Luvoni, Milan, ITA

Sabine Schaefer-Somi, Vienna, AUT

Alain Fontbonne, Alfort-Paris, FRA

Angelika von Heimendahl, Cambridge, UK

Susi Arnold, Zurich, SUI

ISCFR Program Committee

 Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Institution (Co-chair)

Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University (Co-chair)

Tom Rijsselaere, Ghent University

Barbara Durrant, San Diego Zoological Society

Bruce Murphy, University of Montreal, FMV, CRRA

Alex Travis, Cornell University, CVM

Cathy Gartley, OVC, University of Guelph

Xavier Levy, CRECS, L'Isle-Jourdain, France

Cecilia Luvoni, University of Milan

Patrick Concannon, IVIS, ISCFR IOC

North American Symposium Planning Committee

 Cheryl Asa, St Louis, MO

Vickie Meyers-Wallen, Ithaca, NY

Pierre Comizzoli, Washington, DC

Cathy Gartley, Guelph, ON

Bruce Eilts, Baton Rouge, LA

Rosa Paramo, Mexico City, MX

Alex Travis, Ithaca, NY

Karen Goodrowe, Tacoma, WA

Bruce Murphy, Ste. Hyacinthe, QUE

Carlos Gradil, Amherst, MA

Michelle Kutzler, Corvallis, OR

John Verstegen, Verona, WI

Patrick Concannon, Ithaca, NY

EVSSAR Executive Board 2011–2012

 Wojciech Nizanski, POL, President

Susi Arnold, SUI, Treasurer

Tom Rijsselaere, BEL, Secretary

Michela Beccaglia, ITA, Editor

Xavier Levy, FRA

Vibeke Rootwelt, NOR

Catherine Lefevre, BEL

Ragnvi Hagman, SWE

ISCFR – 2012 Abstract Review Committee

 Eva Axner, Uppsala, Sweden

Pierre Comizzoli, Washington DC, USA

Patrick Concannon, Ithaca, USA

Autumn Davidson, Davis, USA

Jeffrey De Gier, Utrecht, Netherlands

Gary England, Nottingham, England

Sandra Goericke-Pesch, Giessen, Germany

Angelika von Heimendahl, Cambridge, England

Angela Hughes, Portland, USA

Pete Irons, Onderstepoort, South Africa

Katarina Jewgenow, Berlin, Germany

Michelle Kutzler, Corvallis, USA

Marcelo Luz, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Steven Metcalfe, Perth, Australia

Vicki Meyers-Wallen, Ithaca, USA

Rosa Paramo, Mexico City, Mexico

Karine Reynaud, Alfort-Paris, France

Sabine Schaefer-Somi, Vienna, Austria

Donald Schlafer, Ithaca, USA

Julianna Thuroczy, Budapest, Hungary

Camila Vanucchi, Sao Paulo, Brazil

ISCFR – 2012 Proceedings Scientific Review Committee

 Joerg Aurich, Vienna, Austria

Michaela Beccaglia, Milan, Italy

Beate Braun, Berlin, Germany

Samuel Buff, Lyon, France

Pierre Comizzoli, Washington, DC, USA

Patrick Concannon, Ithaca, USA

Isabel Cunha, Campos, RJ, Brazil

Bruce Eilts, Baton Rouge, USA

Gary England, Nottingham, UK

Wenche Farstad, Oslo, Norway

Cristina Gobello, La Plata, Argentina

Martha Gomez, New Orleans, USA

Anne Rose Guenzel-Apel, Hannover, Germany

Berndt Hoffmann, Hannover, Germany

Mariuz Kowalewski, Zurich, Switzerland

Michelle Kutzler, Corvallis, USA

Catharina Linde-Forsberg, Uppsala, Sweden

Gaia Cecilia Luvoni, Milan, Italy

Jan Mol, Utrecht, Nederlands

Bruce Murphy, St Hyacinthe, Canada

Wojciech Nizanski, Wroclaw, Poland

Johann Nothling, Pretoria, South Africa

Auke Okkens, Utrecht, Nederlands

Tom Rijsselaere, Ghent, Belgium

Sudson Sirivaidyapong, Bangkok, Thailand

Nucharin Songsasen, Washington, DC, USA

Hasan Besim Sontas, Istanbul, Turkey

María Alejandra Stornelli, La Plata, Argentina

Bodil Ström Holst, Uppsala, Sweden

Hiroshi Suzuki, Obihiro, Japan

William Swanson, Cincinnati, USA

Maria Magda Wanke, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Patrick Wright, Melbourne, Australia

ISCFR – 2012 Editorial Committee

 Gary England, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington, UK, Chairman

Michelle Kutzler, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA

Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA

Patrick Concannon, Cornell University and International Veterinary Information Service, Ithaca, USA

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.