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K9 Cytology Testing

We are certified in Canine vaginal cytology.

Cytology Ovulation testing is used to detect the optimum time for mating your bitch when she is in her season, it constists of the examination of cells from the vagina is a simple technique that is used to monitor the progression of Proestrus and Estrus in your bitch. The vaginal epithelium undergoes a predictable hyperplastic response to increasing plasma Oestrogen levels during proestrus.

Cytology ovulation testing

Fertility services we offer:

Cytology Ovulation Testing

Cytology Ovulation Testing, What is it?
It is a test performed on female dogs during their oestrus cycle to help determine the optimum time to breed and enhance the success of pregnancy. The types of cells present in the vagina vary depending on the stage of oestrus. 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.

How does it work?
Cytologic changes through the canine oestrous cycle reflect changes in blood concentrations of oestrogen. As depicted below, oestrogen levels rise prior to and during proestrus and fall in conjunction with the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone. Rising levels of oestrogen induce the “cornification” that is characteristic of smears examined during Estrus. Ovulation occurs two days after the LH surge.

Canine ovulation testing

Fertility Services For Dogs In Manchester


We DO NOT offer progesterone testing. This is because the Veterinary Surgeons Act of 1966 states that only qualified vets and vet nurses under the direction of a vet may carry out venous blood sampling on dogs. Progesterone blood testing is an invasive procedure and is illegal to carry out unless you are qualified to do so. Cytology Ovulation Testing is a legal and safe way to determine your Dam’s ovulation date and is much less expensive, this is because most vets do not offer a progesterone testing service so you have to get your vet to take a blood sample then have a fertility clinic test the sample which means extra costs

What Are The Benefits Of Cytology Testing

The benefits of Cytology Ovulation Testing Are:

  • Results given and explained instantly.
  • Can show Infections in your Dam.
  • Increases the chances of successful mating.
  • Simple, safe and pain-free procedure for the Dam.
  • Can pin-point the optimum time to mate your Dam.
  • Costs a lot less than Progesterone Testing.
  • Prepares you for your Dam’s whelping date.
  • Predict semen shipping timings

Cytology Testing For Dogs

The four Cytologic stages of the Canine Oestrous cycle using Vaginal Cytology Ovulation Testing

This is usually seen as the first sign of the breeding cycle and it is known as the Dam “coming into season”. It usually lasts for around nine days on average but there is large variations between dogs. Usually you Dam will start to “flag” another dog and also male dogs start to show interest in your Dam but she is usually non receptive to their advances.

At this stage we see mixed cell types with red blood cells with Nucleus still predominant in the cells.

This is the time when a female responds to the dogs advances and can last around 9 to 11 days and can also be detected by behavioural signs. ovulation occurs during this period and this indicates the optimum time for breeding. The Dam’s bleeding decreases and the vulva becomes soft and the Dam responds to stimulation by rubbing the back at the top of the tail.

At this stage it shows predominantly cornified epithelial cells with little or no Nucleus present in the cells.

The female becomes less interested in other dogs and behaviour starts to return to normal

At this stage we see the cells revert back to basal cells, with fewer red blood cells and Nucleus start to return in the cells.

At this stage of the cycle there should be no bleeding and your Dam’s vulva should have returned back to normal

At this stage we now just have basal cells.

We advise to start testing at day 7 of the first sign of your Dam bleeding.
We offer testing at your premises or at ours, however we do charge more to come to you for fuel costs etc.

We come to your premises – From £30
You come to our premises – £25

Cytology vs Progesterone Testing
K9 cytology testing
Cytology Dog Ovulation

More about Cytology Ovulation Testing can be found here